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O'Connor Airlines in administration

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O'Connor Airlines in administration

Old 21st Nov 2007, 02:27
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Unhappy O'Connor Airlines in administration

O'Connor Airlines in administration
Wednesday Nov 21 14:12 AEDT

Regional airline O'Connor Airlines has been placed in voluntary administration at the request of its directors as a buyer is sought for the operations.

The airline, which flies from Adelaide to Mount Gambier and Port Augusta in South Australia and Mildura in Victoria, has appointed Sam Davies and Colin Nicol of McGrathNicol as voluntary administrators.

The administrators will oversee parent company O'Connor Air Services Pty Ltd and a number of other companies which operate as O'Connor Airlines based out of Mount Gambier.

Mr Davies, partner of the Adelaide office of McGrathNicol, said his immediate priority was to identify and secure the assets of O'Connor Airlines and assess whether the airline can viably continue to fly.

"We are seeking urgent expressions of interest from other regional operators to acquire the whole O'Connor Airlines business and are hopeful of a going concern sale," Mr Davies said.

"The airline's operations will continue in the short term subject to securing the consent of the aviation regulator, CASA," he said.

O'Connor Airlines has been providing regional airline services for 34 years.
It operates flights under an exclusive licence from Adelaide to Port Augusta, as well as servicing the Mildura and Mount Gambier routes.

Mr Davies said he understood that the collapse of the airline had been caused by a number of factors, including significant competition on some routes, resulting in price discounting which had in turn caused cash losses.
"We will work closely with key stakeholders including employees, customers, creditors, CASA and the South Australian Government throughout the course of the administration in an attempt to maximise the outcomes for O'Connor Airlines creditors," he said.

A meeting of creditors will be held jointly in Mount Gambier and Adelaide on November 28.
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 02:39
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Yeah just heard this on Melbourne radio 3AW (Yes showing my age). A very very sad day for the industry, I have a close friend who flies for them so I hope they look out for there staffs best interests also.

Ang
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 04:08
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The first of many I feel......

Unless something ( I dont know what ) is done soon there will be more regionals facing this fate!!

It's hard to feel sorry for a company that makes wannabe pilots give up their own time and present employment to do a ground school with no job at the end....or when one becomes avail.....

Last edited by The Kavorka; 22nd Nov 2007 at 05:03.
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 04:47
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Could another BAe32EP be to the rescue?
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 07:42
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my condolences to all at O'connors, staff and family, an amazing experience that will be missed by many from the past and the future alike.

best of luck for all the current drivers for the future, happy and safe flying

pale
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 09:20
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Did you pass the ground school "The Kavorka". Looks like spelling did not follow powerplant and props.
During my short time there (their) (ther) I found all very supportive and professional.
Good Luck to LTOC and SOC.
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Old 21st Nov 2007, 20:12
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Rex offers to help stranded passengers
Wednesday Nov 21 19:28 AEDT

Australia's largest independent regional airline, Regional Express, is poised to help any passengers with uncertain travel plans in the wake of O'Connor Airlines being placed into voluntary administration.

General manager network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said Rex currently operates 64 flights per week between Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and has enough capacity on the route to accommodate extra passengers if required.

"We will monitor the situation closely and we have developed contingency plans to add more flights without needing any extra crews or aircraft on most days if necessary," Mr Lodge said.

"Additionally, passengers travelling from Port Augusta may access Rex services from nearby Whyalla if they wish.


"Rex currently operates 68 flights per week between Whyalla and Adelaide."

Mr Lodge urged customers to confirm bookings early, especially for the Christmas period, to avoid disappointment.

He also predicted that many of the smaller regional airlines will be faced with the same predicament as O'Connor in coming months, given the severe shortage of pilots and engineers and the spiralling costs of fuel and regulatory compliance.

"There may be many regional cities that will not have an air service," he said.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 00:15
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The Kavorka said:
It's hard to feel sorry for a company that makes wannabe pilots give up ther own time and present employment todo a ground school with no job at the end....
One of these days you will wake up to the fact that it is not O'Connor Airlines that can be blamed for this. One of these days you will wake up to the realities of commercial aviation.

A sad day for a proud airline and the people of South Australia.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 04:46
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Sad to hear O'Conner are folding.


Aircraft,
One of these days you will wake up to the fact that
times have changed.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 04:55
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Sad.

Another name in the pantheon of Australian aviation bites the dust.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 05:02
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Fizzer....

I wouldn't have wasted my time with an half assed operation...

Also I didn't know that I was in a spelling bee!!!! wit
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 05:03
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Hold the 'phone, you blokes!! The report I heard on the ABC this morning stated quite clearly that the airline would continue with scheduled flights 'for the moment' I think was the term used.

Let's not have the funeral just yet, shall we!
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 05:16
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Pinky,
Although I agree with your sentiments the reality of Administration requires the Administrator to assess the business case for the operations, value the assets and then try to find a buyer. If possible the business continues trading, providing the continuance of trade does not increase debts! If a genuine buyer can be found who has the resources to compete in O'Connors operating environments then so much the better. The other and sadder alternative is the closure of operations and the sale of all assets to pay creditors which includes staff who unfortunately are usually classified as unsecured crreditors and stand at the end of the queue.
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Old 22nd Nov 2007, 05:18
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From ABC news website:

Overseas airlines eye O'Connor assets

The troubled O'Connor Airlines has assured passengers it is still operating, despite being in voluntary administration.

The administrator, Sam Davies, says there has already been interest in the company from overseas carriers looking to move into the Australian market.

He says other regional operators have also made enquiries.

The airline went into administration yesterday, owing creditors about $4 million to $5 million.

Mr Davies says the company will honour all existing travel bookings and is taking new bookings.

He says the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the South Australian Government and regional councils have all offered support to help keep the regional airline operating.

It flies between Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta in SA and Mildura in north-west Victoria.

A meeting of creditors will be held jointly in Adelaide and Mount Gambier next week.
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Old 23rd Nov 2007, 04:28
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..........like someone said here, perhaps a sign of times to come. What is interesting (to me that is ) is the fact that they are/where $4 to $5 Mill in debt to creditors..............hmmmmmmmmmmmm somebody at the management knew this was a problem & got help via the administrators, getting that far in debt shows other underlying problems, there's the sign of the times sadly:-(
Rex to the resuce !!!!!!!!.....God the management in that Co. must have awfully soft beds to sleep in !!

O'Connor Airlines, part of Aussie aviation history.

Capt Wally:-)
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Old 23rd Nov 2007, 08:49
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I remember not so long ago, 2004-2005, Airnorth-Regional Link was offering O'Connors and other regionals to join forces and operate under a common banner (regional link). Share the overall costs of the aviation industry ext. At the time, O'Connors, from memory was not interested. A shame, because the idea was very good IMHO.
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Old 23rd Nov 2007, 08:56
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Man Bilong Balus long PNG
 
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Capt Wally; May I suggest that it is a distinct possibility that the problems that the company finds itself in may not necessarily be of its own making.

For instance; They recently lost the use of a Conquest via the CASA edict grounding all Conquests above a certain TTAF.

Plus, I heard that an airframe of another type they operate had been found to have damage done to it by a previous owner.
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Old 23rd Nov 2007, 10:19
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Interesting that REX now come out and say they are prepared to help, yet only a few weeks ago they left me stranded TWICE by cancelling flights into and out of Mount Gambier, without telling anyone until we showed up at the airport. And now they can look like the saviours of Regional Air travel. I only hope that any passengers who were treated as badly by Rex as I was remember this for a while to come. For me, ill be driving to MTG from now on.
I thought the airport code for Mount Gambier was MGB.
Looks like I haven't been the only one to be stranded by Rex. Had to buy a new ticket on Virgin as Rex were 35 minutes late, which turned into 49 minutes.
The first of many I feel......
Unless something ( I dont know what ) is done soon there will be more regionals facing this fate!!
Who else is there.
Rex; Skippers; Skywest; Air North; [email protected] Air; AirSouth; Alliance; Brindabella;
For sure some towns will lose service. Maryborough gone.
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 00:15
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Pinky, your comment, that the problems O'Connor's find themselves in may not be of their own making, is interesting. Although no airline can afford to have their production units 'aircraft' sitting in a hangar and not earning revenue, all airlines that intend to stay in the game must be able to generate profits sufficient to provide for breakdowns, repairs and maintenance contingencies and long term fleet renewal.

If an operator gets to the end of the working week and the revenue 'cupboard is bare' with no money to provide for the above then he/she is living and operating on borrowed time! The days of airservice operators who think with their hearts instead of their heads have well and truly gone.

It is no longer possible to adopt the old strategies of obtaining an aircraft at a 'good rate' and then worrying about how and where it can be used to make money!! Margins are just too tight as costs are too high and competition is generally too fierce!! Unfortunate but true!
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Old 24th Nov 2007, 05:00
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..............thanks "The Oracal"...........I think yr response sets "Pinky The Pilot" straight!:-) The Conquest/s they have had for a zillion years, it was only a matter of time before they got to their 'used by date' requiring replacement if they wanted to retain that sized airframe.
Also Pinky although a lot more complexe (obviously)Ansett went by the wayside too because it couldn't cope with the commercial pressures & the associated costs with keeping an ageing fleet active as well as rapid expansion, & before everyone says nothing like Ansett's woe's I did say 'a lot more complexe' !
Anyway it's academic now it was only a matter of time with those figures in the 'red' that something had to give. O'Connors whether you like them or not where once a stable foudation for many a pilot now sitting in their big shinny birds!:-)

Capt Wally:-)
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