Queensland regional airline Skytrans has stopped flying.
Queensland regional airline Skytrans has stopped flying. Contributed

Queensland airline Skytrans stops flying, 67 jobs lost

QUEENSLAND airline Skytrans has stopped flying as of Friday afternoon, shedding the last of its 67 workers.

Skytrans lost its government-backed routes to New South Wales-based Regional Express.

It follows a decision announced by Transport Minister Scott Emerson in October, Regional Express began operating on January 1.

The Cairns-based firm made 121 staff redundant in late November. Friday's casualties brings the total to 188 since the Minister's decision was made public.

Skytrans serviced much of inland and outback Queensland including Toowoomba, St George, Cunnamulla, Charleville, Quilpie, Mount Isa, Cairns, Cape York and the Gulf.

Skytrans managing director Simon Wild said in a statement that the government's decision, along with the "nose dive" of the Australian dollar, meant the airline could not continue.

It marked 25 years of service on Thursday.

"I will seek legal and financial advice over the next few days regarding options for the business moving forward, but to be clear, it does not include the recommencement of flights in the short to medium term," Mr Wild said.

"…This is not only a sad day for the business, but more importantly for our staff and indeed the passengers and communities of north Queensland.

"All staff have been made redundant. Everyone has already been paid their entitlements."

Mr Wild described this as an "orderly wind down of the business".

Those who had tickets booked with the airline are asked to go to the Skytrans website for a "Passenger Information Sheet".

"Today there is no celebration, beyond the pride everyone in Skytrans shares in having delivered a safe reliable passenger and freight service to communities as diverse as Birdsville and Boulia, Bamaga and Brisbane," Mr Wild said. 

"We will miss them all, for they have all been relationships built over a lifetime of trust and mutual support, collaboration and shared endeavour, and good old fashioned friendships forged easily between good people."


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