Bonza appears almost certain to be wound up after the administrators determining the troubled airline’s future terminated its staff.

Guardian Australia understands administrators from the firm Hall Chadwick told staff during a meeting on Tuesday they had been sacked.

Employees subsequently voiced their frustrations at how the administration process had been conducted, sources say.

The budget airline’s 323 employees had been stood down since 30 April when the airline appointed administrators after its fleet of six Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft was abruptly repossessed.

It later became clear that Bonza’s local business leaders had been blindsided by a breakdown in the relationship between 777 Partners – the airline’s private equity sole owners – and that firm’s financier, the US insurance giant Advantage Capital Holdings, known as A-Cap, which led to a change in the ownership structure of the leased aircraft last month.

Early on in the administration process, the administrators had been confident of finding a buyer for the airline, but those hopes faded in recent weeks.

Interested buyers had been given until last Friday to put in offers for Bonza. Guardian Australia understands none were received by the deadline.

A spokesperson for the administrators told Guardian Australia a statement would be released on Tuesday afternoon detailing the future of the airline – after staff had been notified.

Staff are still owed wages.

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) said it was ready to help Bonza employees seek unpaid wages through the commonwealth’s fair entitlements guarantee process.

However, it was unclear if this was possible as the airline technically remains in administration.

skip past newsletter promotion

“Although the termination frees up Bonza employees to seek alternative full-time employment without losing their owed entitlements, the federal government FEG scheme doesn’t kick in unless or until Bonza goes into liquidation,” the TWU said in a statement.

The union’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, said: “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.

Article source:

Leave a Reply