Leadership Roles Filled At Australian Startup Bonza

Australian startup airline Bonza has announced a number of key senior management appointments, continuing the airline’s momentum towards its first flights expected sometime in 2022.

Startup airline Bonza has just filled some crucial senior management roles. Photo: Bonza

Bonza’s CEO makes three key senior management appointments

On Tuesday, Bonza CEO Tim Jordan confirmed Peter McNally as Bonza’s first Chief Operating Officer, Carly Povey as the Chief Commercial Officer, and Lidia Valenzuela as Bonza’s Chief Financial Officer.

“The winning recipe to any success story is 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,” said Mr Jordan in a statement.

“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 onboard.”

Mr McNally was most recently Vice President of Swissport’s airports and commercial operations in Australia. Before that he worked as Chief Commercial Officer for Darwin-based Airnorth, chief advisor to IndiGo, Vice President of Network Operations at Qatar Airways, and did a seven-year stint at Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia).

Bonza’s new Chief Operating Officer Peter McNally. Photo: Bonza

Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Financial Officer roles filled at Bonza

New CCO Carly Povey is now finishing out a role as General Manager of Engagement and Liason (Commercial and Operations) at Australia Post. Before that, Ms Povey worked at Jetstar, including a stint as Head of Commercial and Operations Improvement.

Carly Povey has also worked for now-defunct Virgin Australia offshoot Tigerair Australia, easyJet, and Jet2. Her career in aviation started at far-away Leeds Bradford Airport.

Lidia Valenzuela doesn’t have a background in aviation but does have a wide background in finance, most recently working as Group Chief Financial Officer for the Australian telco Superloop.

Before that Ms Valenzuela has worked as Head of Finance at early childhood firm Only About Children, Financial Controller at BPay, and began her career as a financial accountant at the Community Alliance Credit Union. In her LinkedIn profile, Lidia Valenzuela says;

“I am a finance professional with 20 years plus experience in leading a finance function, delivering strong financial control, reporting, business partnering, audit, tax, budgets, forecasts, and cash management.”

Bonza’s new Chief Financial Officer, Lidia Valenzuela. Photo: Bonza

Increasing confidence Bonza will take flight

Bonza’s Tim Jordan is keen to differentiate his new airline from other Australian operators past and present. He’s backed by Miami-based, alternative investment firm 777 Partners. They have experience in aviation and a current stake in Alberta-based Flair Airlines.

777 Partners’ presence on the scene suggests Bonza, unlike many other potential startups, is no watery pipedream. Tim Jordan, who has extensive aviation experience, is also being taken seriously – something that doesn’t always happen to other would-be airline CEOs.

Before getting to work on Bonza, Mr Jordan was most recently Managing Director of FlyArystan. He is credited with helping turn Kazakhstan into one of the fastest-growing domestic airline markets in the world. He is also another Virgin Blue alumni.

So far in his comments, Mr Jordan indicates he intends to sidestep the local competition by targeting underserved or unserved regional routes. The industry experience and local knowledge the CEO and his new senior management appointments have gives watchers further confidence Bonza will take flight.

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