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Not so thumbs up? Bonza suspends flights indefinitely

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Bonza Airline has temporarily suspended all services due to be operated on Tuesday 30 April, including Newcastle, with discussions underway regarding the ongoing viability of the business. 

In a statement sent to media about 10.30am, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said:

“We apologise to our customers who are impacted by this and we’re working as quickly as possible to determine a way forward that ensures there is ongoing competition in the Australian domestic aviation market.”

Other Australian-based airlines, including Qantas, Jetstar, Rex and Virgin are assisting by rebooking Bonza passengers amidst the confusion.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said the federal government was well-aware of the issue.

“I know of reports this morning of Bonza flights being cancelled,” she stated.

“I have spoken to Qantas and Virgin CEOs today and both airlines stand ready to assist stranded passengers needing to get home. 

“My department has reached out to Bonza and our expectation is that they keep passengers informed of their options and their consumer rights. 

“My department has also established a hotline number (1800 069 244) for stranded passengers.”

More details are expected to follow.

Newcastle Airport
Bonza arrived in Newcastle March 2023.

Bonza Airline timeline:

March 2024 – Bonza, a year in the skies above the Hunter.

January 2024 – Bonza advertises routes at 50% off in a bid to attract more travellers.

September 2023 – The purple brand introduces holiday packages, hoping to “beef-up” bookings with extras.

August 2023 – The low-cost carrier introduces Tasmania as a destination, the same month it attempted to pull at the heartstrings of the ordinary Australian by naming one its planes ‘Matilda’ in the wake of the national women’s football team hype.

July 2023 – Bonza shows first signs of struggling to remain viable in the cut-throat aviation industry, slashing some less popular routes to cut costs.

March 2023 – Beach to winery itineraries are touted as a new holiday itinerary as Hunter flights begin between Newcastle and the Whitsundays.

January 2023 – Bonza grows wings, gaining its Civil Aviation Safety Authority approval to operate full-time.

November 2021 – Newcastle is named as a possible destination for new airline expected in following year. Newcastle Airport confirms it is in discussion with Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

October 2021 – Australia learns it could become home to a new discount airline by 2022, promising “a post-covid travel boom” after US investment firm 777 Partners opts to back Bonza.

Bonza
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan with local surf lifesavers at Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club, FEB 2022.

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