AUSTRALIA: Australia’s rural carriers dropping like flies

Another carrier – Australia’s Queensland- based carrier SkyAirWorld – has gone belly-up joining the swelling ranks of small rural aviation service providers downunder that are falling victim to theglobal recession. SkyAirWorld’s troubles could also spill over to East Timor’s upstart national carrier Timor Air which had wet leased one of SkyAirWorld’s 94-seat Embraer aircraft to […]


Another carrier – Australia’s Queensland- based carrier SkyAirWorld – has gone belly-up joining the swelling ranks of small rural aviation service providers downunder that are falling victim to theglobal recession.

SkyAirWorld’s troubles could also spill over to East Timor’s upstart national carrier Timor Air which had wet leased one of SkyAirWorld’s 94-seat Embraer aircraft to fly from Dili to Darwin and Bali. The Brisbane carrier also provided pilots and crew. It also throws into question the plans of Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air which formed a joint venture with the Aussie carrier last year to establish a domestic airline in Australia.

SkyAirWorld called in a voluntary administrator after GE Capital’s aircraft leasing arm, GECAS, repossessed the carrier’s five Embraer aircraft, which follows last month’s grounding of three aircraft and sacking of 40 staff .

The aviation turmoil has hit rural Australia hard with another Queensland carrier, MacAir collapsing in January, preceded by Regional Express’ Dubbobased carrier, Air Link in December.

Rex, the nation’s largest independent regional carrier, has seen a 20 per cent slump in passengers in January while its charter operator, Pel Air, suffered a 40 per cent fall in freight volumes. SkyAir- World was to begin direct passenger and cargo flights from Perth to the Cocos and Christmas islands from April.