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Bonza slaps down reports financial advisory firm appointed

written by Jake Nelson | April 19, 2024

Victor Pody shot this Bonza 737 MAX 8, VH-UKH, dubbed ‘Malc’.

Bonza has strongly denied reports that financial advisory firm KordaMentha has been appointed to advise the airline.

Media outlets including The Australian Financial Review reported this week that the consultancy firm was brought in to give operational advice.

However, in a blunt statement, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the carrier currently has no relationship whatsoever with KordaMentha.

“KordaMentha has not been appointed as financial advisors to Bonza, or in any other capacity,” said Jordan.

In its report, the AFR pointed to claims of financial strain at Bonza’s parent company, 777 Partners, which also owns its sister Canadian airline Flair.


Bonza is currently dry leasing two 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Flair following a wet lease agreement to launch its Gold Coast base.

777 Partners earlier this year faced legal action from aircraft lessors over three Flair 737 MAX 8s and one 737-800 that were repossessed last March over unpaid fees.

There has also been speculation surrounding 777’s ability to complete a takeover of English Premier League football club Everton, though that deal appears to be inching towards a conclusion.

The Transport Workers’ Union has jumped in on the reports to reiterate its calls for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission, with acting national assistant secretary Emily McMillan saying that regardless of Bonza’s actual situation, Australia’s aviation industry is “a hostile market for any new entrant, marked by aggressive competition and a lack of regulated standards”.

“This volatile industry has seen the collapse of Ansett, Virgin fall into administration, and Qantas go cap-in-hand to the Government, force wage freezes on workers, price-gouge customers, and take over $2 billion of taxpayer funding while illegally sacking 1700 workers,” McMillan said.

“Record profits have returned to the industry, but travellers are still slugged with costly airfares and lacklustre service standards following the decimation of the workforce and wages over the last 15 years. Regional jobs and air travel are particularly vulnerable.

“Aviation is prone to external shocks like pandemics, natural disasters, and international conflict. Yet with no regulation, we are left to rely on privatised airports and airlines to make decisions in the public and worker interest, which is at odds with their business models and executive KPIs. It is simply unsustainable.”

Speaking to the Australian Aviation Podcast shortly after the airline’s first anniversary of its inaugural flight on 31 January, Jordan said Bonza is “not so far away” from breaking even and aims to be “well on the way” to profitability this year.

“We know that we wouldn’t exist without our investors. They absolutely jumped in,” he said.

“I spent 12 years looking for Australian investors, and we have an investor who can see the opportunity, but ultimately, they want to go on a journey towards a return on their investment, and 2024 is significant in that regard. So we’ve got to go on that journey because it’s important for us to do so.”

According to Jordan, “many people” could see the opportunity Bonza presented, though the airline had turned to overseas investors such as 777 Partners because locals were wary of the challenges posed by the Qantas-Virgin duopoly.

“Australia was the only market without an independent low cost carrier for the last decade, and of the 15 largest markets, Australia was the only one which didn’t have an independent low-cost operator, so they could see the big-picture strategic imperative for that,” he said.

“However, because of the lack of competition, the duopoly which effectively exists in Australia, many people said, ‘you will not be allowed to survive, let alone thrive, by incumbents’.”

Bonza aims to grow its fleet to nine or 10 aircraft and open up a fourth base by the end of the year.

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Comments (2)

  • The fact that this issue has made the press may well mean that KordaMentha has in fact been consulted but not appointed to the company for “operational performance” purposes and that is what good business practice should be about. It would be no secret that Bonza”s operation is very much exposed to external hickups and they don’t have much wriggle room and frankly the last friend they need right now is the TWU. It will be interesting to see what transpires here plus, based on their performance, I feel that VOZ would have been better served by KordaMentha over their “Administration” too;- unfortunately I see a lot of damaging turbulence ahead for Bonza which would be a shame for all of us.

  • Edward Davies


    Let’s hope they survive.I flew on them last year from Newcastle to Proserpine-quite satisfactory for the fares paid.I hope to do so again this winter.

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