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BONZA: Goes into administration. Officially!

BONZA: Goes into administration. Officially!

Hall Chadwick has been formally appointed as Bonza Airways enters voluntary administration after one of its aircraft lessors made moves to repossess its planes, which left hundreds of passengers stranded today, Tuesday, 30 April, according to documents seen by the AFR.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) hads received documents that reveal Bonza Aviation Pty Ltd at 3.25pm was declared “externally administered”, by accounting and advisory firm Hall Chadwick.

a screenshot of a website
Bonza suspends operations. Screengrab from the website. [BONZA]

Aircraft formerly operated by Bonza remain on the ground at their Sunshine Coast base, at the Gold Coast and also at Melbourne Airport.


AIP Capital, who now owns the planes after a recent transfer from 777 Partners, has commenced repossession proceedings, according to Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

To simplify the complex ownership structure, Bonza is backed by 777 Partners, a Miami-based funding body. 777 Partners owned 49% of Bonza’s Aircraft, with 51% held by AIP. Ownership of the aircraft has since been transferred to Phoenix Aviation Capital, which is wholly owned by the giant insurance company ACap.

Aircraft repossession usually occurs because leasing charges have not been paid. It is unclear who has not been paying the leases, but in this case, the presumption is either Bonza or 777 Partners. This dispute is not new, as one of the Boeing 737-MAX-8 aircraft supposed to be under the control of Bonza has been grounded for weeks at the Gold Coast Airport. The reason is certification issues, or lease payments depending on who you believe.

Another aircraft ‘Matilda’ was redirected to another of 777 Partners airline investments, Flair in Canada.

To further confuse things, there seems to be some other controversy about 777 Partners’ investment and potential ownership of a Liverpudlian soccer club, Everton, which just baffles me. You can read about it in the AFR here.

a group of people standing in front of a plane
Happier times at the Melbourne launch of Bonza [Bonza]

Poor passengers

Hundreds of passengers are not flying today, and thousands of passengers who have future bookings have been affected

Qantas has issued a statement committing to provide flights today at no cost, where there are seats available to get affected Bonza passengers home or close to home. Qantas group cover the following routes that Bonza used to service:

  • Melbourne – Gold Coast (Jetstar)
  • Melbourne – Sunshine Coast (Jetstar)
  • Avalon – Gold Coast (Jetstar)
  • Gold Coast – Cairns (Jetstar)
  • Melbourne – Mildura (QantasLink)
  • Melbourne – Alice Springs (QantasLink)

Where Qantas has another alternate route to a nearby destination, they are offering free flights for Bonza customers today. Think about getting people to Brisbane instead of the Gold Coast or to Melbourne instead of Avalon.

Bonza customers can contact Jetstar on Live Chat or 13 15 38, or Qantas on 13 13 13.

Emergency contact

The federal Transport Department has set up a hotline for stranded passengers : 1800 069 244 The number will until 10pm tonight (Tuesday 30 April, 2024).

For some Bonza passengers who purchased new fares from Jetstar to get them where they needed to be, expect contact from Jetstar, who will refund fares. Virgin Australia has offered to assist passengers who are stranded by the Bonza closedown similarly.

a plane on the runway
Bonza Boeing 737-800 MAX-8 in happier times, Sunshine Coast Airport 2023 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Although Bonza is definitely down, it is not quite out, yet albeit hanging by less than a thread. Elsewhere it has been reported that the Bonza board is meeting this afternoon to work out what to do, and there is other speculation that an investor is standing by to rescue the airline.

Hopefully, we will know more soon. As for customers holding tickets for future Bonza flights, let’s just say, if I were in your shoes, I’d be making other plans and kissing my AU$39 one-way discount fare goodbye.

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