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Bonza’s Fleet Grounded: Creditors Seize Aircraft Amid Financial Turmoil

Bonza flights cancelled
  
   

In a significant disruption to domestic travel, Bonza, a discount airline, has cancelled all its local flights. Reports emerged on Tuesday that the airline’s Boeing 737-MAX-8 aircraft have been repossessed by creditors, leading to widespread cancellations across Australian airports. Aviation insiders revealed that the fleet, originally acquired by Bonza’s US parent company, 777 Partners, during the COVID-19 pandemic, is no longer under the airline’s control.

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The planes were part of a long-term lease arrangement from Miami-based 777 Partners, aimed at bolstering Bonza’s capacity to serve leisure destinations less frequented by major carriers. Notable routes affected include services to Rockhampton, Mildura, and Port Macquarie, key markets for the airline’s niche in leisure travel.

This financial upheaval follows earlier reports from The Australian Financial Review, which Bonza initially denied, suggesting financial distress within the airline. The spokesperson for 777 Partners had previously affirmed ongoing financial support for Bonza despite the shift in aircraft ownership due to creditor demands.

The repossessions are not the first for 777 Partners, which faced similar issues last year when aircraft leased to another carrier, Flair Airlines in Canada, were seized over unpaid fees. This ongoing financial instability has raised concerns about the firm’s operational capacity and its broader impact on the travel industry.

Bonza, the brainchild of CEO Tim Jordan, is now grappling with operational and financial challenges that threaten its unique business model focused on underserved destinations. The situation remains fluid, with potential implications for travellers and the airline’s future operations.

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