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Poor, poor Air Australia. First, we were very excited for a new airline down under called Strategic Airlines, and then back in November, they not only changed their name, but changed their service model. From a full-service airline meant to compete with the big dogs of the Aussie airline industry, to a budget airline primarily targeting leisure destinations around the region.
Then came February, when the airline took planeloads of people to their destinations and then called it quits, stranding passengers in foreign cities.
Since Air Australia went into the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy, the administrators were left with the trappings of an entire airline on their hands. Since the bosses of the airline ran up bills totaling around $85 million dollars, the new owners had to recoup that cash. The obvious thing to do is to pull apart planes and sell off all assets of the former carrier. And we mean everything!
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It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the re-branding of Air Australia from Strategic Airlines. They shifted from a full service airline to a low-cost carrier, filling the void left by Virgin Australia's switch to full service. The carrier's brightly painted planes zipped around on routes like Oz to Phuket, Bali, and even Honolulu, not to mention a handful of domestic services.
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After the bad news of Qantas' major shutdown over the weekend, there is finally some good news coming from Australia. The 2-year-old Strategic Airlines is going through a re-branding and calling themselves "Air Australia." The simple name is to stay close to their Aussie roots, not to mention that the name makes heaps more sense.
Strategic entered the game in Oz back in 2009 with an aircraft base out of Brisbane. Essentially they fit right into the niche between Virgin Australia and Qantas with 2-class aircraft and all-the-frills cabin service.
With domestic services flying between main cities and mining locales, Strategic also takes their all-Airbus fleet internationally to Bali, Phuket and Honolulu to capitalize on the holiday-maker market. Eventually Air Australia will be flying their birds to China as well; nothing is confirmed, but we're thinking Beijing and Shanghai.
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We know that Europe may be a cheap option this summer thanks to an airline that you usually wouldn’t expect to have affordable fares, and now that also might be the case for those looking to head down under. There’s an airline in Australia that’s still trying to figure out all the logistics and what not, but they’ve got their eyes on the United States along with a price point that we can all support.
Strategic Airlines has filed the appropriate papers to get permission to fly between Australia and the nifty fifty. They’ll be using Airbus A330 aircraft for the long trip across the Pacific, but that means that the flights will probably need to stop in Hawaii before continuing on towards the mainland—a tropical layover is always fine with us! If everything goes as planned, the planes could be heading back and forth as soon as September.