Mastercard Cash Passport
Mastercard Cash Passport

Latest News

Share this article

Qantas, Jetstar extend free flights to Bonza customers as carrier sacks all staff 

Jetstar and Qantas have extended their offer of free flights to affected Bonza customers after the airline’s administrator confirmed the cancellation of all future flights and the termination of all staff.

Jetstar and Qantas have extended their offer of free flights to affected Bonza customers after the airline’s administrator confirmed the cancellation of all future flights and the termination of all staff.

In a statement, Qantas Group said it had already helped over 25,000 passengers who were reaccommodated on Jetstar and Qantas services at no cost. 

Over the past month and a half, impacted Bonza customers have been provided with seats on six overlapping routes or the closest alternative routes. 

The Qantas Group is also supporting Bonza’s former staff.

“We know this is also a difficult time for Bonza’s employees and we’ve set up a dedicated page for them on our Jetstar careers site and are working with those who have contacted us about opportunities across the business,” the group said. 

Remaining Bonza customers can contact the Jetstar or Qantas customer care teams to arrange replacement flights by 30 June 2024 via LiveChat or on 13 15 38 (Jetstar) or on 13 13 13 (Qantas).

Sacked online

Bonza's Bruce
The carrier’s ‘Bruce’ plane.

Some six weeks after Bonza went into administration, Bonza employees were formally let go at an online meeting on Tuesday. 

After two months without pay, administrators told the budget airline’s 323 employees their jobs were immediately terminated.

“The deadline for interested parties to submit a binding offer in relation to the future of Bonza Aviation expired at the close of business Friday 7 June 2024,” administrator Hall Chadwick said in a statement.

“The Administrators assisted a number of interested parties through the sale campaign, allowing each party to conduct their due diligence and formulate any offer. Unfortunately, the Administrators did not receive any binding offers.”

While the end seems nigh for the airline, the administrator said a potential buyer could still emerge at the last minute – despite issuing multiple deadlines.

“The Administrators will provide an update to all creditors shortly and will look to convene the major meeting of the Company in which creditors will decide the future of the Company,” it added.

“The Administrators investigations into the Company’s business and affairs are ongoing.”

“Directors to blame”

Bonza passengers
Bonza passengers boarding a flight.

Meanwhile, Flight Attendants Association of Australia’s Steven Reed said the whole process had been “an absolutely appalling state of affairs”.

“All of the staff are very upset that they’ve been left hanging on for so long,” he told the ABC.

“They feel like they’ve been strung along.

“We’ve said to them, ‘Look, it’s not the fault of the administrator. You really need to blame the directors of the company that are currently under investigation for the way that you’ve been treated’,” he added.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) said the announcement provided certainty but bad news for those staff and customers. 

“This is incredibly difficult news for Bonza employees who have received no pay for more than two months after the airline’s sudden collapse,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.

Bonza at Sunshine Coast Airport
A Bonza jet landing at Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Airport.

“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.”

With workers not entitled to the Federal Government’s Fair Entitlement Guarantee (FEG) scheme until Bonza goes into liquidation, Kaine said staff “remain in limbo.”

But on Tuesday, at least “they gained the freedom to pursue alternative full-time work, with Virgin Australia having previously committed to prioritising Bonza staff”, he added.

Shortly after it went into administration, Federal Transport Minister Catherine King said the outlook for the airline was not good.

“I think they’ve got to look at the books a fair bit. It’s unlikely that will happen,” she said at the time.