Bonza COO leaves start-up airline, sparks potential launch delay

Bonza co-founder Peter McNally has stepped down from his position as chief operating officer (COO), according to local media reports.   

As reported in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on March 6, 2022, McNally left the start-up airline just five months after he was assigned to take a senior executive role tasked with overseeing day-to-day administrative and operational functions at Bonza.  

While the Australian low-cost airline is due to launch operations in mid-2022, the recent changes to Bonza’s senior management team have also sparked speculation that the COO’s exit could lead to a delayed launch.  

While confirming McNally’s departure, a Bonza spokesperson denied claims that the COO’s exit would cause any deviation from the airline’s original plan.  

“He leaves behind a very capable team who have been, and will continue to be, leading our regulatory application process,” the spokesperson told the AFR. 

In mid-February 2022, the upcoming domestic carrier revealed details of its initial network, consisting of 25 routes to 16 destinations across Australia, including Albury, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Mackay, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, and Townsville.  

Bonza also announced that it will service routes currently underserved by rivals such as Virgin Australia and Jetstar.  

Bonza will become the first new low-cost carrier in Australia since Tigerair Australia, a former subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings, ceased operations in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Bonza is set to commence operations with a fleet of five Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jets. 


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