Bonza executive team lines up on the runway

October 26, 2021

New Australian low-cost carrier Bonza will draw on executives with aviation experience at home and overseas when it takes to the skies next year.

The US-backed contender unveiled its new leadership team Tuesday with Peter McNally,  a  former Australian senior executive at ground handler Swissport, moving into the post of chief operating officer.

Peter McNally. Photo: Bonza

McNally’s CV includes stints as chief operating officer at regional carrier Airnorth and vice president network operations at Qatar Airways as well as consultancy work and senior roles at Virgin Blue.

The airline said he would draw on his understanding of Australia’s regulatory environment as the post holder of the airline’s air operator’s certificate (AOC) responsible for safety and operations.

His responsibilities include flight and cabin crew, engineering and ground services and operational performance.

READ: Virgin Australia kicks off sales campaign and seat sale.

Australia Post executive Carly Povey joins November 1 as chief commercial officer. She spent five years at Jetstar, finishing up as head of commercial and operations improvement.  She was also commercial director at Tigerair Australia, worked for a subsidiary of logistics giant DHL and as a manager at UK LCC easyJet.

She started her career at a UK regional airport and was a member of the start-up team at as general manager sales and marketing.

Carly Povey: Photo: Bonza

Her responsibilities include the airline’s brand, marketing, communications, stakeholder relationships, product and pricing.

Lidia Valenzuela is the airline’s chief financial officer and was most recently the group chief financial officer at internet provider Superloop. Her previous positions include financial controller at electronic payment system company BPAY and as a financial accountant at Community Alliance Credit Union.

Bonza is being helmed by former Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer, FlyArystan chief executive and Virgin Blue veteran Tim Jordan and is backed by US private investment firm 777 partners.

It intends to launch next year using fuel-efficient Boeing 787 MAX aircraft and is in the process of seeking regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Bonza will enter a market that has thwarted several previous attempts to launch airlines, including by experienced players such as Singapore Airlines.

However, Jordan and his backers believe there is scope for an independent, ultra-low-cost entrant in the Australian market despite the existing battle for market share between Qantas Group, Singapore-backed Regional Express and Bain Capital’s Virgin Australia.

The airline has yet to publicly reveal specific routes and fares but has said it will be avoiding the highly competitive Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne triangle in favor of regional and leisure destinations.

Jordan said Tuesday the winning recipe to any success was people.

“It’s absolutely critical we have the right leadership team, who are wholeheartedly committed to making a real difference to travelers and communities in Australia,’’ he said. “Peter, Carly and Lidia are up for the challenge to do things differently, whilst also creating an environment our people and partners can feel proud to call home.  I’m delighted to have them on board.”