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Bonza owner pays Everton Football Club $30m after fleet grounding

written by Jake Nelson | May 1, 2024

Bonza’s parent company, 777 Partners, has been attempting to purchase English Premier League club Everton. (Image: Everton FC)

Bonza’s parent company 777 Partners paid $30.9 million to Premier League club Everton hours after the budget airline’s fleet was repossessed.

The Times reports that the Miami-based venture capital firm injected £16 million into the football club on Tuesday, UK time, while Bonza’s four 737 MAX 8 aircraft were repossessed at around 3am AEST on Tuesday, leaving passengers stranded.

The airline was later placed into voluntary administration.

777 Partners, which also owns Bonza’s Canadian sister airline Flair, has been attempting to buy Everton since at least September, but questions have repeatedly been raised about its ability to close the deal.

The firm 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.


Bonza entered voluntary administration late Tuesday afternoon, with Hall Chadwick appointed to determine the future of the low-cost carrier.

“The company’s fleet is currently grounded pending discussions with relevant parties and key stakeholders. The grounding of the fleet is currently up to and including Thursday 2 May 2024‚ and customers with bookings during this period are advised not to travel to the airport,” Hall Chadwick wrote in a statement.

“The discussions regarding ongoing trading are occurring over the forthcoming days and the administrators will be in a position to update all stakeholders as the matter progresses.

“The administrators are conscious of the impact of the grounding of the company’s fleet and are working alongside the existing senior management of the company and the aircraft operational team in respect to ongoing trading.”

In a message to Bonza’s 300 staff seen by The Australian, Bonza chief operating officer Michael Young said the airline is doing its best to get back in the air.

“I cannot say much at this stage but suffice to say we are fighting this,” wrote Young.

“I realise the uncertainty is gnawing away at everyone, this is natural. But we have an AOC which is valuable, we are safe and we have a product and network that ­people like and want.”

Other major airlines on Tuesday offered lifelines to Bonza passengers left in the lurch by the fleet grounding, with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin all giving free flights to affected customers.

Virgin and Jetstar have also pledged to consider Bonza employees for jobs.

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Comments (2)

  • Clearly there is a greater cash return in ticket sales at Everton than Bonza.
    Unfortunate timing and very sad for us down under.

  • Bradley Davren


    To correct the record here, I need to offer some additional information. I am the CEO of the Company that maintains Bonza, Rex, Virgin, Qantas etc. Bonza are an Airline without Aircraft. They were not insolvent before the reallocation of aircraft. Without aircraft, they cannot generate revenue and are therefore required to either go into VA until they have aircraft or fold if they cannot procure aircraft. Their reason for VA has no correlation to bad routes, aircraft size, trading insolvent, poor management etc. Regarding viability, without aircraft, it is no longer viable. With aircraft, they are secure. Bonza has not stolen market share, they have increased the market by introducing new routes to Australians that had no options. Believe me, the routes that most ‘experts’ say don’t work are booked full! Bonza do not need a cash injection, they need a supportive investor and aircraft.

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