Bonza passengers in limbo as planes grounded for longer

Rachael Ward and Cassandra Morgan |

Bonza planes remain grounded as administrators for the airline hold talks with stakeholders.
Bonza planes remain grounded as administrators for the airline hold talks with stakeholders.

Bonza passengers will be grounded for almost another week as the budget airline’s administrators talk with the lessor of its fleet.

Administrators Hall Chadwick confirmed on Thursday there would be no flights until at least Wednesday – five more days than previously expected.

The firm would continue to talk with the lessor of Bonza’s fleet and other parties about the “resumption of operations” into next week, a spokesman said.

“Customers with bookings during this period are advised not to travel to the airport,” the Hall Chadwick spokesman said.

“Customers scheduled to travel during this time are requested to make alternative arrangements with other airline carriers.”

Hall Chadwick was expected to give another update later on Thursday.

Almost 2600 Bonza passengers left stranded after the budget airline suddenly grounded flights have reached out for help.

Catherine King
Catherine King says passengers stranded by Bonza’s collapse are seeking help. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Passengers were left scrambling with little notice as Bonza cancelled flights on Tuesday morning and fell into voluntary administration.

It is unclear what will happen to the airline’s planes from Wednesday.

The government’s hotline for Bonza customers received almost 1500 calls on Tuesday and that increased to almost 2600 by Thursday morning.

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King said people continued to reach out for help.

Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar offered free flights for stranded passengers where available, but AAP has spoken to multiple customers who spent hundreds of dollars to secure flights home.

The Transport Workers Union says it’s in talks about the future of 150 Bonza staff with other players in the industry.

The Sunshine Coast-based company was unveiled in October 2021 and its first flight took off in January 2023.

It originally flew 27 routes to 17 destinations but started cutting services during its first six months.

Bonza has flown to a host of regional destinations including Albury, Mildura, Mount Isa, Tamworth and Port Macquarie.