Jetgo announced on Friday McLeod and Partners’ Jonathan Paul McLeod and Bill Karageozis had been appointed joint administrators of the company.
“JETGO Australia will continue limited Charter Operations, however, all Regular Passenger Transport (RPT)
scheduled services are suspended for the duration of the administration period,” a message on the airline’s Facebook page said.
Qantas said it was offering special fares to those holding bookings for travel on Jetgo between June 1 and June 30 on an “equivalent Qantas route to assist customers get to or from their destination as planned”.
Customers could contact Qantas on 1300 659 116 or staff at airport sales desks to book, the airline said on its website.
Similarly, Virgin Australia said on its website passengers affected by the Jetgo cancellations could call its guest contact centre on 07 3119 7019 to discuss available options.
And the administrators said on the Jetgo website customers could also contact their credit card provider to “consider your options with respect to a refund of your ticket purchase”.
Jetgo began life as primarily a charter and fly-in/fly-out operator.
However, in 2014 it applied for and was granted from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) a high capacity jet RPT air operator’s certificate (AOC), allowing it to commence scheduled airline services.
Its RPT network consisted of nine destinations in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria and was served with an all-Embraer fleet 37-seat ERJ-135LRs and 44-seat ERJ-140LR regional jets.
The airline was also planning to launch international flights later in 2018 with Embraer E190s as part of a Brisbane-Karratha-Singapore routing.
The proposed service was being undertaken in partnership with the City of Karratha, which said on Friday it was in “discussions with JetGo regarding the potential impact of this announcement”.
“It isn’t 100 per cent clear how this is going to affect our proposed Karratha to Brisbane and Singapore services in the short, medium and long term,” the City of Karratha said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“We understand that JetGo are seeking to recapitalise and restructure the company and are in active discussions with a number of potential investors.
“We’ll work closely with JetGo and Administrators over the coming weeks and provide updates as we can.”
The City of Karratha said it remained committed to delivering increased air transport options for local residents.
The move to appoint voluntary administrators comes after Dubbo Regional Council took legal action in the NSW Supreme Court to recoup what it said were unpaid debts totalling some $270,000.
The council stated the decision to lodge a winding up application after months of negotiations was a final step “in order to get a result for the community in respect of significant and increasing unpaid debts owed by Jetgo”.
“Dubbo Regional Council has acted responsibly to recover the amounts outstanding for ratepayers,” it said in a statement on Friday.
“If allowed to continue, the significant mounting debt had potential to significantly affect Council’s budget and its ability to provide services to the community.”
Jetgo managing director for airlines Paul Brederick told the Illawarra Mercury on May 24 the dispute with the council was over the calculation of passenger taxes for the airline using Dubbo Regional Airport.
The matter was due to be heard on June 18 2018.
The airline flies to Dubbo from Melbourne Essendon and Brisbane airports.
Melbourne Essendon Airport chief executive Chris Cowan said he was hopeful of getting a new airline to serve the Dubbo and Illawarra Regional Airport routes – that were operated by Jetgo – “sooner rather than later”.
“We remain confident of the viability of both routes,” Cowan said in a statement.
“Both routes are popular with pax and the numbers confirm the route is certainly profitable and has potential to grow in the short term.
“We recognise the vision of Jetgo as pioneers of both routes and prove the demand exists for both services. However the recent interruption to services have held back growth of the service. We are also conscious that many small businesses and aviation service providers will be impacted by losses as a result of the collapse of Jetgo.”
Shellharbour City Council said in response to the airline entering voluntary administration it had decided terminate its service level agreement Jetgo, effective immediately.
Further, it was working to reinstate services as quickly as possible.
“We have proven that there is sustainable and reliable demand from business and leisure travellers for an airline service from our airport to Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne,” Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said in a statement on Friday.
“Unfortunately the operations of Jetgo’s commercial enterprise are not within Council’s control.”