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Bonza administrator sacks all staff

written by Jake Nelson | June 11, 2024

Bonza’s 737 MAX 8, VH-UJT ‘Shazza’, touches down in Alice Springs for the first time. (Image: Bonza)

Bonza’s administrator has reportedly sacked all staff as prospects for a sale look to have dried up.

Australian Aviation understands that employees were notified of their termination at a meeting on Tuesday morning, with administrator Hall Chadwick expected to make a statement on the airline’s future later in the day.

The news comes after multiple reports that Hall Chadwick told a confidential meeting of creditors last week that a sale was now unlikely, with The Australian Financial Review claiming attendees were informed the jobs of staff were set to be terminated this week, while The Australian added the tone was “not positive”.

This is despite Hall Chadwick successfully arguing in the Federal Court late last month for a two-month extension to its appointment period through the end of July, suggesting it was optimistic it could find a buyer for the stricken low-cost carrier, which entered voluntary administration in April after all its planes were seized by lessor AIP Capital. The last of these leased 737 MAX 8s, VH-UJK, known as ‘Sheila’, left the country last week.

Hall Chadwick had previously said it was speaking to around 20 interested parties, with six “very interested” in buying Bonza and its valuable AOC.


Should Bonza be liquidated, the terminations will allow staff to claim unpaid salaries through the government’s Fair Entitlement Guarantee. Many have effectively remained in limbo and were unable to claim their salary from the government immediately because the company was continuing to search for new investment in a bid to stay alive.

The core requirement of the Fair Entitlement Guarantee is that an employee can only claim if they have lost their job “due to the insolvency of your employer”.

The Transport Workers’ Union has lamented the news, with national secretary Michael Kaine saying the loss of more than 300 jobs is “another blow to Bonza workers and to the aviation industry”.

“This is incredibly difficult news for Bonza employees who have received no pay for more than two months after the airline’s sudden collapse. It’s a dark day for regional communities across Australia which remain isolated through unaffordable or unavailable air travel to remain connected with the nation,” Kaine said.

“Workers remain in limbo, with the Fair Entitlement Guarantee scheme not yet available to claim their owed entitlements. Today, they gained the freedom to pursue alternative full-time work, with Virgin Australia having previously committed to prioritising Bonza staff.

“It’s highly likely aviation will lose hundreds more skilled, experienced staff after being burnt so many times in this industry.”

News.com.au later reported that the administrator told staff that if they were to resign and take up employment elsewhere, this would not be deemed ‘casual work’, and their chances of receiving payment would be further reduced.

The Fair Work Ombudsman advises on its website: “If an employee resigns during the administration period, they may not get their accumulated leave entitlements.

“They become a creditor if the company owes them money, they need to speak to the administrator about outstanding entitlements.”

Major airlines had offered lifelines to Bonza employees hours after the airline went into administration in April, with both Jetstar and Virgin Australia saying they would consider Bonza staff for employment.

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