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Bonza saw 2k job applications in 4 days

written by Hannah Dowling | December 24, 2021

More than 2,000 people raised their interest in joining the ranks of startup budget airline Bonza within days of its public unveiling, after the pandemic displaced thousands of skilled workers.

Current estimates suggest over 11,000 aviation professionals lost their jobs across Qantas and Virgin alone since March 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

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Speaking exclusively with Australian Aviation, Bonza founder Tim Jordan said the Bonza website had been inundated with EOIs and applications for roles at the airline in the days after the airline was unveiled.

“We made the announcement on Tuesday, and by the end of the week, so within four days, we were above 2,000 applications for roles at Bonza,” Jordan said.

Read the whole interview with Tim Jordan in the latest edition of the Australian Aviation print magazine, out now. To find out more and subscribe, click here.

Jordan said the overwhelming application numbers were driven by the thousands of displaced aviation workers that were let go or stood down without pay throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Now there are some wonderful and experienced aviation professionals available out there who are looking to get themselves back into the industry,” he said.

Jordan said that if Bonza had launched two years ago or more, securing experienced aviation workers would have been considered more of a “hurdle” for the startup, “whereas now it’s an opportunity for us”.

The airline has also been able to successfully secure brand new leased 737 MAX aircraft for a discount, in another major win for the startup.

“So now we have brand new aircraft, we have an investment partner who is experienced in aviation [and] the teams that we will have on board are highly skilled aviation professionals, which is truly wonderful for any startup.”

“This all allows us to have a great product going into the market and a much better product than we probably would have been envisaged two years ago,” he added.

It comes as Bonza released new details on its executive team, with another ex-Virgin Blue senior manager joining the ranks.

Bonza was revealed to the world two weeks ago, headed up by CEO Tim Jordan and chairman Rick Howell, both former executives at Virgin Blue. The new airline is backed by US investment firm 777 Partners.

Peter McNally, a former senior operational manager for Virgin Blue and former Swissport vice-president of airports and commercial, has been welcomed to the team as Bonza’s chief operating officer.

McNally was also previously COO of Airnorth in Darwin, chief advisor for operations for Indian LCC IndiGo, and earlier, vice-president for network operations at Qatar Airways.

Bonza also announced the appointment of former Jetstar executive Carly Povey as its chief commercial officer. She has over 15 years’ experience in aviation, including previous roles at Tigerair, easyJet, Jet2 and Leeds Bradford Airport.

Povey will head up Bonza’s brand, marketing, communications and customer channels, as well as being responsible for network and scheduling, product and pricing.

Lidia Valenzuela also joins the Bonza c-suite team as chief financial officer and is noted as a co-founder and executive director.

Valenzuela has over two decades’ experience in accounting and senior finance roles and joins from her current role as group chief financial officer at Superloop.

CEO Tim Jordan said the new members were “wholeheartedly committed to making a real difference to travellers and communities in Australia”.

Bonza is currently eyeing to enter service in early 2022, with an initial fleet of two to three 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The move will see Bonza become the first Australian airline to welcome the 737 MAX for regular domestic operations, after the aircraft was grounded globally for nearly two years following two fatal crashes overseas.

However, Jordan told Australian Aviation that Bonza couldn’t be happier with its decision to initially lease two to three Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with the airline founder stating “the configuration, the efficiency and the availability of the MAX” make the aircraft an “absolute bonus” for the upcoming airline.

According to Jordan, most startup airlines often begin operating with a fleet of mismatched, older second-hand aircraft, however the current operating environment allowed Bonza to secure brand new 737 MAX 8s for a great price.

“We were initially setting out a business plan, and the lease costs involved to sustain our operations, we thought that we would be leasing used aircraft, maybe five to 10 years old,” Jordan explained.

“So, what we’ve ended up with is a far improved outcome.”

Jordan added that thanks to the ultra fuel-efficient 737 MAX, the company’s forecast fuel burn is set to be “significantly lower” than anticipated, and clinching a good deal means the airline can boast a consistent fleet right from the get-go.

“We’re going to the market with brand new aircraft, aircraft which are all configured the same way,” Jordan said.

To find out more and subscribe to the Australian Aviation print magazine, click here.

Bonza saw 2k job applications in 4 days Comment

  • Ashley

    says:

    Sounds too good to be true, on paper.

    Let’s see if Bonza can not only ‘start up’, but keep going forward more than two years’, at a minimum.

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