Australia-New Zealand

Bonza Halts Flights And Enters Administration – All Too Predictable?

One of the latest updates in the world of commercial aviation, comes from Australia. Low cost carrier Bonza has in fact suspended all operations and has entered voluntary administration. What happened and was it all a little too predictable?

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The Airline Cancels All Flights As Lessor Repossesses Planes

So long story short is that the airline has no planes to fly its routes. The lessor, AIP Capital, has taken back all of the airline’s planes. Usually this happens when leasing payment deadlines are not met. It’s likely this is what happened in this case too.

There was literally no prior notice with the news coming out during the night on April 30th. A larger number of passengers were therefore left stranded away from home in the wake of the airline cancelling flights.

Bonza immediately entered voluntary administration to try and save whatever is salvageable. However things are not looking good for the 777 Partners airlines and my personal opinion is that it is highly unlikely to see them fly again.

The airline operated a fleet of 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 mainly serving destinations in the states of Victoria and Queensland.

Boeing 737 MAX the same aircraft used by Bonza Australian airline that has ceased operations in April 2024

Was Bonza Destiny and Downfall Just Too Predictable?

In my opinion yes it was all way too predictable. Australia is a very saturated airline market. Unless you are serving a very specific niche such as Rex Airlines serving regional flights to the outback, and or receiving subsidies to fly, it can prove very complicated to launch and operate a successful airline in Australia.

The country’s population isn’t huge, just over 26 million people, and its distribution leaves little space to be creating with airline routes. Most of Australia’s population is in its major cities, therefore the most profitable routes are those connecting these cities. The issue is that the three major airlines have a tight control over said routes. Qantas with its low cost airline Jetstar are the thousand pound gorilla in the room, Virgin Australia is barely hanging on, itself having to massively restructure over the years.

Just launching a new airline without introducing a true novelty and disruptive factor to the market just means going to slam into the same wall many others have slammed into before at full speed. It didn’t even take that long to hit the wall or something else to hit the fan. Bonza started operations in January 2023 and ceased operations in April 2024. Bonza lasted just over a year, unfortunately it just seems that this was a case of poor planning and judgement of the Australian aviation market.

What About The Stranded Bonza Passengers?

For those stranded away from home Qantas, along with its LCC Jetstar, and Virgin Australia have offered a helping hand. They will offer complimentary flights back home to these unfortunate passengers, where seat availability allows. For all other passengers that had booked flights with Bonza, well it seems they’ll have to make different plans. The airline doesn’t seem it’ll be flying again.

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