Bonza Airlines
Bonza Airlines (VH-UJT) Boeing 737 MAX 8 Wikimedia Commons

Bonza's 323 staff were sacked Tuesday, two months after the Australian budget airline company went into voluntary administration on April 30 and failed to secure a buyer.

In a virtual meeting of the creditors, attended by former CEO Tim Jordan, administrators from the firm Hall Chadwick told the employees the airline company failed to find a buyer, though he added that a potential suitor may emerge, ABC News reported. June 7 was the last date for potential buyers to submit their offers.

Bonza Aviation was set up as a budget regional airline in January 2023.

The employees cannot claim their entitlements under the federal government's Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) for unpaid wages and redundancy payouts, as the company continued to remain in voluntary administration. Employees can submit their claim to FEG only when the company is liquidated.

As there was no decision about liquidating the company, the sacked employees will not have access to FEG. The company owes the staff two months pay.

Blasting Bonza for the "appalling state of affairs," Steven Reed from the Flight Attendants Association of Australia said, "All of the staff are very upset that they've been left hanging on for so long. You really need to blame the directors of the company that are currently under investigation for the way that you've been treated."

Bonza went into voluntary administration after its fleet of six Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft was abruptly repossessed, The Guardian reported.

After the partnership broke down between 777 Partners, the airline's private equity sole owner, and its financier, the US insurance giant Advantage Capital Holdings, known as A-Cap, and with the abrupt repossession of its aircraft, the business had little value left.

The company has been struggling to find new buyers due to the lack of aircraft and the company's $115 million debt.

Calling it a "dark day" for the aviation industry, Transport Workers' Union 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."