Skytrans owes millions after going bust

QUEENSLAND'S largest regional airline owes more than $108 million to creditors including various councils, businesses and corporations across the state after going bust earlier this year.

Skytrans, a family-owned and operated business, was placed into administration in January citing increased competition, loss of a government contract and a falling Australian dollar.

This resulted in 67 employees becoming redundant on top of the 120 who were laid off late last year.

The airline, which was established in 1990, operated passenger services to 25 locations throughout Queensland including Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Boulia, Moranbah and various outback towns across the state.

The extent of Skytrans' woes have been laid bare in documents filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

The documents, which APN Newsdesk has viewed, reveal the number of creditors could exceed more than 170 individuals, businesses or organisations.

They show administrators had identified 2593 individuals who had a Skytrans booking at the time the airline went bust.

The files did not reveal whether those passengers were likely to get their money back or whether any arrangements were made to ensure the flights they booked were honoured.

However, the court documents did reveal sole director Simon Wild is looking to be paid more than $28.6 million stemming from an inter-company loan after he submitted a proof of debt to administrators.

The documents also revealed his mother, Patricia Wild, is looking to recoup more than $2.9 million.

But the biggest debt was reserved for internationally-based corporation Aircraft Leasing Limited which is owed more than $64.1 million for unpaid aircraft leasing fees.

The court documents revealed Aircraft Leasing Limited had already repossessed six aircraft, with investigations continuing over the disputed ownership of a further two.

Skytrans also owes Cairns Airport, which was where the airline was based, more than $416,000 in unpaid landing, servicing and security fees, as well as more than $17 million to various councils, airports and businesses across the state.

Skytrans claimed in a statement in January that more than $4 million had been paid out to cover staff entitlements, but this could not be verified through court documents.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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