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Bonza remains in limbo as flights stay grounded until Tuesday

written by Jake Nelson | May 2, 2024

Victor Pody shot Bonza’s 737 MAX 8, VH-UJK “Sheila”, in Melbourne.

Bonza will not fly again until at least next Tuesday, its administrator has said as it continues to work to get the grounded airline back in the air.

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, administrator Hall Chadwick said Bonza’s four 737 MAX 8s, which were seized early Tuesday morning in a move that reportedly blindsided the airline, will remain on the tarmac until next week at the earliest.

“Whilst the Administrators are continually in discussions with the Lessor of the Company’s fleet and relevant parties regarding resumption of operations, those discussions are occurring daily and will continue to take place over the forthcoming days and into next week,” the statement read.

“As such the Administrators are unable to resume flight operations from Friday 3 May 2024 up to and including Tuesday 7 May 2024. Customers with bookings during this period are advised not to travel to the airport.

“Customers scheduled to travel during this time are requested to make alternative arrangements with other airline carriers. The Administrators and the Company appreciate the impact this is having on customers and employees.”


Bonza entered voluntary administration late Tuesday afternoon, with Hall Chadwick appointed to determine the future of the low-cost carrier. Its fleet of four operating 737 MAX 8s was grounded through at least Thursday, 2 May, as the administrator worked to get it back up and running.

“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,” Hall Chadwick said on Tuesday.

In a message to Bonza’s 300 staff seen by The Australian on Wednesday, 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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