Karratha residents owed thousands in JetGo collapse

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
VideoA survey carried out by The West Australian shows that some low cost airlines can cost up to 30 per cent more to fly with than standard airlines.

JetGo ticket-holders stand to wind up thousands of dollars out of pocket and the City of Karratha faces losing $850,000 after the Brisbane-based charter company landed in the hands of liquidators last week.

The carrier was due to begin Brisbane flights to and from Karratha in August, and had hoped to start a Singapore route soon afterwards.

Jirsch Sutherland liquidator Sule Arnautovic was appointed by the NSW Supreme Court last Thursday.

Karratha resident Samantha Woods paid $5200 to fly her family of five to Brisbane for Christmas for the first time in three years.

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“We saw someone posted something on Karratha Moan and Groan, and that was when we found out that they went into voluntary administration,” she said.

“It has been so disappointing that no communication was received from JetGo.

“I would have thought that Karratha City would have contacted other councils who JetGo have been doing business with for feedback as part of their risk assessment.”

Ms Woods said her family had been waiting more than one month to see the money returned.

JetGo was enlisted after the City failed to find a commercial airline interested in starting a Singapore route from Karratha in 2017.

The carrier received sponsorship payments from the City of Karratha of about $140,000 in the months of February and March, and payments above $280,000 in April and May.

The City had claimed those figures were commercial in confidence. However, they are readily published in the monthly council minutes.

A request for an interview with the City was declined, but in a statement it said independent assessments had led the City to believe JetGo’s financial position was sound.

“At the beginning of May, the City was made aware that JetGo’s financial position had deteriorated and the company was having cash flow issues.”

“Information provided to the City indicated that the company was in significant financial stress.

“Despite this, JetGo’s management indicated that they were optimistic about the ability to recover from the financial position that they were in.”

People who have bought tickets to fly with JetGo have been urged to contact their financial institutions for reimbursement.

Creditors are owed more than $38 million, but the liquidator has warned there may be less than $100,000 available.

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