Bonza: Australia’s low-cost airlines lose COO and still plan cheap flights

Turbulence for budget airline Bonza as top executive suddenly quits ahead of launch – but carrier still plans to sell cheap tickets in weeks

  • Australia’s new airline chief leaves after just seven months with the company
  • Speculation brews over whether delays will stop Bonza’s launch into the stratosphere
  • Bonza plans to hit Australian regional market not frequented by other major airlines

Low-cost airline Bonza has been in turmoil following the recent sudden departure of a top executive.

The budget airline was unveiled late last year with plans to compete with Virgin and Jetstar and will operate 25 routes via Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast – but not Sydney.

The company’s co-founder and former chief operating officer, Peter McNally, parted ways with the budding air carrier in February after just seven months.

His departure raised eyebrows over Bonza’s ability to survive in the highly competitive airline industry.

Bonza plans to fly to regional areas largely outside the routes used by other airlines

A Bonza spokeswoman confirmed to Australian Financial Review that they had separated and thanked Mr. McNally for his service.

But they played down speculation that its exit would cause delays for the newcomer to the Australian flight market.

“He leaves behind a very capable team that has led and will continue to lead our regulatory application process,” the spokeswoman said.

Mr McNally was given the top job in October last year and has extensive airline experience, with stints at Qatar Airways and Indian airline Indigo.

He was also part of Virgin Blue’s first management team.

His departure came as the airline announced it would fly to 16 new destinations on 25 routes across the country.

Flights with the low-cost airline are due to go on sale in May and they will focus on routes not normally flown by major players Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar.

Bonza played down suggestions Mr McNally's exit would cause delays with the airline's launch

Bonza played down suggestions Mr McNally’s exit would cause delays with the airline’s launch

Destinations will include Albury, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Mackay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan promised “ultra-low fares” for people who needed to travel to regional hubs.

“Since Bonza was announced to the world at the end of last year, we have always said that we will not just fly between Australia’s three biggest cities,” he said.

“And instead, give people in the regions more choice. From our two bases on the Sunshine Coast and in Melbourne, we will give Australians more options at ultra-low fares to explore their own backyard. said Mr. Jordan.


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