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Collapsed company’s staff cop huge blow

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Collapsed company’s staff cop huge blow

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Employees of failed airline Bonza have been stood-down another two weeks as administrators frantically seek formal offers from interested parties,

The budget carrier entered into voluntary administration on April 30, less than 18 months after launching its first passenger flights.

Leading accountancy firm Hall Chadwick has since acted as administrators and on Tuesday revealed it has extended the stand-down of more than 200 employees until May 29.

“The administrators have continued to be in discussions and meetings with various investors, other airlines and companies from the travel industry over the weekend and early this week,” it said in a statement.

“The administrators advised creditors at last Friday’s meeting that a time frame for interested parties would be set.”

The deadline for expressions of interest has been set for Thursday, according to the ABC, with the publication reporting there’s up to 20 potential buyers.

“To finalise those negotiations, the administrators have cancelled flights up to and including 29 May, 2024 and those impacted customers should not travel to the airport unless they have made other travel arrangements,” the statement read.

“In addition the Administrators stood down the majority of the Company’s employees up to and including 29 May, 2024.”

It comes as cabin crew members were served a crushing blow about their pay during a late-night meeting held by Hall Chadwick in early May.

During the video meeting with 260 employees, it was alluded employees had not been paid for their hours worked in April of this year, and will not be receiving any payment for hours worked at this stage.

It is understood prior to the airline entering voluntary administration, employees received wage payments on the 5th of each month.

One source told the ABC that employees were “screaming and crying” as they received the news.

“They [Bonza and administrators] said they can’t do anything — they are not in a position to pay anyone,” the source said.

News.com.au understands payment for entitlements — such as salary and annual leave — was a grey area.

Essentially, employees were told that if they remained employed by the airline while they are stood down -at that stage until May 7 – there was a chance they would be paid for their labour, but only if the airline was still in a financial position to do so.

It was suggested by a spokesperson for Hall Chadwick that if they were to resign from the airline and take up full-time employment elsewhere over the next few days that would not be deemed as ‘casual work’, their chances of receiving that payment would be reduced even further.

It comes as the Sunshine Coast-based carrier suspended flights across the country on April 30, with staff waiting in limbo since then.

The company remains under administration, with debts totalling more than $116 million.

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