Bonza officially collapses after creditors approve airline liquidation

Bonza officially collapses after creditors approve airline liquidation
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Creditors for budget carrier Bonza have today voted to liquidate the company after administrators failed in a bid to find a buyer.

The airline went into administration on April 30 when its aircraft were seized two weeks after receiving default notices from the company that owns its planes, AIP Capital.

About 500 workers were sacked almost two months later and have been collectively owed an estimated $10.8 million in entitlements.

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A Bonza plane behind a wire fence.

Under the government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme, workers can claim unpaid wages, redundancy and pay in lieu of notice, however, the company must be liquidated to access the scheme.

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The Transport Workers’ Union said staff have not been paid since March, including for work completed in April.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said although it was a sad day for Australia’s aviation industry Bonza’s collapse has brought certainty for workers.

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“With cost-of-living still bearing down, 500 families suffered sudden loss of income and months of turmoil about their futures,” said Kaine.

“Rebuilding a sustainable aviation industry has never been more critical for workers, passengers and the community.

“The worst of this news is the hopelessness of reconnecting regional Australia without intervention from a regulatory body.

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Bonza operated as a low-cost domestic airline primarily connecting 35 regional routes in Australia, 30 of which were not serviced by other carriers.

“While aggressive market competition dominates the most lucrative routes, regional communities are left high and dry,” Kaine said.

“Aviation is lacking a voice for workers, passengers and the Australian community including those in the regions.

“We need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to set binding standards and ensure aviation meets the needs and values of the nation.”

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