Council responds to JetGo's voluntary administration news

JETGO Australia Holdings Pty Ltd has entered into Voluntary Administration on Friday 1 June 2018. Jonathan McLeod and Bill Karageozis have been appointed as the administrators.
Shellharbour City Council has considered its current and future business association with Jetgo and in the best interest of the community has decided to terminate its service level agreement with the airline effective immediately.
Council is disappointed by the announcement but is confident in the viability of future regular passenger services due to the community’s overwhelming support and uptake of the service since commencing last October.
Cr Saliba said that Jetgo’s issues were not a result of commencement of passenger services out of the Illawarra Regional Airport.
“In fact the Illawarra Regional Airport to Essendon Fields route was Jetgo’s busiest. Unfortunately the operations of Jetgo’s commercial enterprise are not within Council’s control,” Cr Saliba said.
Cr Saliba said Council sympathised with passengers affected by the suspension of Jetgo services.
“I can only say that I empathise with those who have booked flights. I understand their concern and disappointment. I can also appreciate that there might be anger about this situation,” she said.
“Passengers will understandably be shocked by this announcement. They booked flights in good faith and couldn’t have possibly foreseen this development.”
“I am sorry that they find themselves in this position and urge affected passengers to contact the administrator or their credit card company for advice in relation to refunds.”
Cr Saliba said Council was working to reinstate services as quickly as possible, with staff in discussions with Jetgo and other airline operators with interest to recommence the regular passenger service as soon as practicable.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the high demand for services to Essendon had demonstrated the importance of maintaining this popular route.
“Regular passenger transport services from Illawarra Regional Airport surpassed our marketing research and projections. Our community and neighbouring local government areas really got behind these services,” Cr Saliba said.
“The feedback from passengers on both the flight and ease of travel from Illawarra Regional Airport is overwhelmingly positive.
“Numbers from Shellharbour grew rapidly from day one until the recent disruptions impacted the service.
“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.”
She said Council had made a business investment decision into passenger service from Illawarra Regional Airport and recognised Jetgo’s investment in establishing the routes.
“This investment has proven to other airline operators that our regional community is committed to regular services out of Illawarra Regional Airport,” Cr Saliba said.
“We had a vision to open our region up to visitors and make air travel easier for our regional community. As owners of the Illawarra’s only airport, we did this to benefit not only our community’s economic development and tourism industries, but that of our neighbouring local government areas too.”
Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008.