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February 16, 2012

Air Australia Grounds All Flights, Stranding Thousands of Passengers

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Air Australia Airbus A320s like this one (VH-YQC) will no longer grace the runways at Brisbane, nor anywhere else.

Air Australia, a small airline serving eight destinations with four planes, on Friday entered voluntary administration and halted all service.

KordaMentha, the firm in charge of the administration, said in a statement, “It currently appears that there are no funds available to meet operational expenses so flights will be suspended immediately.” The statement went on to say that people booked on Air Australia flights should make alternate arrangements, as it appears “highly unlikely there will be any flights in the short to medium term.”

Customers who paid by cash were likely out of luck unless they had travel insurance, but credit card buyers may be able to chargeback their fares.

The Brisbane-based carrier — formerly known as Strategic Airlines — operated three Airbus A320s and one Airbus A330-200, according to Airfleets.net data.

Approximately 4,000 Air Australia passengers were stranded in Bali, Phuket and Hawaii. Qantas said it would provide assistance to those who needed it, though details of that assistance were not immediately available.



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