Australia’s Bonza sacks employees as no buyer steps up


The administrator of the insolvent Australian LCC Bonza (AB, Sunshine Coast) has terminated all 323 employees and cancelled all future flights after receiving no binding offers to buy the airline. Bonza abruptly ceased trading in late April after lessors repossessed its aircraft in midnight raids.

Administrator Hall Chadwick had imposed a June 7, 2024, deadline for binding offers, and despite assisting several interested parties through the sale campaign, including allowing each party to conduct its due diligence, no offers were forthcoming. The already stood-down employees were advised that they no longer had jobs during a June 11 town hall meeting.

Hall Chadwick has yet to decide whether to liquidate the business. Until that decision is made, former employees still owed their April salaries and accrued benefits cannot access the Australian government’s fair entitlements guarantee scheme, a safety net scheme for claiming unpaid wages and other entitlements. Hall Chadwick said they were still deciding the best outcome for all the creditors, not just the employees.

Bonza launched in early 2023 backed by 777 Partners. However, it was never able to sufficiently scale up at the required pace and its handful of B737-8s were ill-suited to many of the 21 airports they flew to. Many of the routes were on unserved city pairs considered unviable by other operators, including local low-cost operator Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine). Lessors ferried the last Bonza aircraft out of Australia last week.

Separately, on June 11, the administrator informed creditors owed over AUD116 million Australian dollars (USD76.5 million) that they would provide an update shortly. Hall Chadwick also said it was continuing to investigate claims Bonza traded while insolvent, which if proven, is a breach of the Australian Corporations Act (2000) and renders the directors liable to civil and criminal penalties.



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