Hundreds Left Stranded by Air Australia Shutdown
By Sonia Isotov
Air Australia announced today that it will suspend all flights immediately, including two from Honolulu to Brisbane and Melbourne. These flights were launched in December 2011.
The company, formerly known as Strategic Airlines, rebranded only three months ago as Air Australia and today goes into voluntary administration, a form of Australian bankruptcy proceeding. The Director of the Air Australia group of companies appointed John Park and Mark Korda of KordaMentha as the Voluntary Administrators.
In a statement on their website, Air Australia said that there are no funds available to meet operational expenses so flights will be suspended immediately. It also appears highly unlikely there will be any flights in the short to medium term, and all passengers are advised to make alternate arrangements.
In Hawaii, approximately 500-600 passengers are expected to be affected by the suspension of the Air Australia flights over the next three days. The Hawaii Tourism Authority anticipates that other carriers servicing Australia will be able to accommodate the affected passengers.
The HTA is working closely with its partners in the visitor industry to ensure that all affected by the flight suspensions are able to return home, whether it be to Australia or Hawai‘i.
For passengers holding Air Australia tickets, the HTA suggest contacting the following airlines who are offering assistance:
- Hawaiian Airlines, http://www.hawaiianair.com
- Qantas Airlines, http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en
- Jet Star, http://www.jetstar.com
For information and updates from Air Australia, visit their Frequently Asked Questions at http://airaustralia.com/.