Australian travellers may be left stranded over Christmas after budget airfare company Bestjet collapsed.
Australian travellers may be left stranded over Christmas after budget airfare company Bestjet collapsed.

Aussie budget travel site collapses

AUSTRALIAN travellers may be left stranded over Christmas after budget airfare company Bestjet collapsed.

The Queensland-based company's website collapsed just six weeks after changing hands, the Courier-Mail reports.

"The owners of Bestjet can confirm that the business has appointed Nigel Markey and Bradley Hellen of Pilot Partners as the voluntary administrators of the Company and its subsidiaries, Wynyard Travel Pty Ltd and Brooklyn Travel Pty Ltd," a statement said.

"Tickets issued to customers who have booked and paid through Bestjet will be honoured by the relevant airlines."

Customers who have not received their ticket have been advised to contact their financial institution or travel insurer.

Bestjet's website is currently offline, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) listing its status as under "external administration".

The budget airline was sold to McVicker Investment Group six weeks ago.

"We have a global vision and are excited about the future of Bestjet under the McVicker Investment Group Portfolio," Robert McVicker Sr told Travel Bulletin.

"I see great opportunities to employ additional staff members within the company to expand the business further."

The budget travel company was set up by Rachel James, the wife of disgraced former Air Australia boss, Michael James, shortly after the collapse of the airline in 2012.

 

Rachel James at Bestjet.
Rachel James at Bestjet.

 

According to Fairfax Media, Bestjet lost its travel agency accreditation earlier this year after failing to show Mr James had no involvement in the company.

The company has since been accused of misleading behaviour, including cancelling reservations and asking for more money for new flights.

Mr McVicker Jr said new ownership plans had not worked out.

"Since we acquired Bestjet in November, we have worked with the former owners to improve the business and customer service experience," he said.

"Representations made to the company failed to materialise and, unfortunately, we have been left with no choice but to place the business into voluntary administration to determine the best course of action for customers and suppliers, and to see whether Bestjet can continue to trade.

"As the business is now under the control of the Administrators, the owners of Bestjet are not in a position to make further comment."


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