Transport Workers' Union

The TWU said speculation over Bonza’s viability following reports of KordaMentha involvement points to instability in aviation and the need for regulatory oversight.

The union is calling for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to oversee and set standards for aviation – a critical industry overrun with private business decisions made in the interest of profits over passengers and workers.

KordaMentha’s work with Bonza is reportedly being led by restructuring partner Sebastian Hams, who has previously worked with Ansett and Virgin Australia – two other Australian airlines that fell victim to aggressive competition.

TWU Acting National Assistant Secretary Emily McMillan said:

“Whatever the issues behind the scenes at Bonza, it’s clear our aviation industry is a hostile market for any new entrant, marked by aggressive competition and a lack of regulated standards.

“This volatile industry has seen the collapse of Ansett, Virgin fall into administration, and Qantas go cap-in-hand to the Government, force wage freezes on workers, price-gouge customers, and take over $2 billion of taxpayer funding while illegally sacking 1700 workers.

“Record profits have returned to the industry, but travellers are still slugged with costly airfares and lacklustre service standards following the decimation of the workforce and wages over the last 15 years. Regional jobs and air travel are particularly vulnerable.

“Aviation is prone to external shocks like pandemics, natural disasters, and international conflict. Yet with no regulation, we are left to rely on privatised airports and airlines to make decisions in the public and worker interest, which is at odds with their business models and executive KPIs. It is simply unsustainable.

“This is why we need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to provide independent oversight and set standards for aviation. Australia needs a reliable aviation industry with good, secure jobs at its core. After a decade of inaction under the Coalition, with Morrison taking an approach throughout the pandemic to ‘leave it up to the market’, we need action to rebuild this essential industry.”

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