“Bonza’s Voluntary Administration: Impact on Domestic Airline Competition and Consumers”

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Australia’s domestic airline industry has shown significant recovery, with passenger levels nearly matching pre-pandemic figures, according to the ACCC’s latest report.

However, a major concern is the potential loss of direct flights to regional destinations if low-cost airline Bonza fails to recommence services after entering voluntary administration.

Bonza, a key player in connecting regional hubs, offered 37 domestic routes before its suspension, 35 of which were to regional locations, and 30 were unserved by any other airline.

The absence of Bonza would particularly affect direct connections at Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) and Coolangatta (Gold Coast) airports.

Despite its limited market share, Bonza provided affordable airfares and direct connections to various regional and holiday destinations, promoting competition in the highly concentrated domestic aviation sector.

However, its small fleet size and exclusion from the busiest domestic routes prevented it from capturing more than two per cent of the passenger market.

The industry’s service reliability has improved in recent months, with the cancellation rate dropping to 2.

March 2024 from 5.

December 2023.

On-time performance across the industry also improved, reaching 77.

March 2024 from 63.

December 2023.

In relation to Bonza’s administration, consumers’ rights may be affected.

Impacted customers can contact the appointed administrator, Hall Chadwick, for more information.

Customers who paid for their flights with a credit card, debit card, or through a secure payment provider may be able to request a chargeback.

The ACCC is closely monitoring the situation under the Treasurer’s direction to recommence domestic air passenger transport monitoring.

The ACCC aims to protect consumers and ensure a balanced and competitive airline industry in Australia.

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