Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 02/17/2012

Air Australia strands thousands after fleet is grounded

Some budget travelers in Hawaii, Thailand, and Bali found their inexpensive vacations longer and much more expensive than they had counted on after their airline carrier Air Australia stranded thousands of them far from home.
Stranded Air Australia passengers sleep with their luggage at Phuket international airport. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Australian news reports, the airline was put in “voluntary administration” following increasing financial trouble. AP reports that “voluntary administration” is similar to bankruptcy protection in the United States. All flights were grounded and passengers had to scramble to buy new flights on other airlines, or find hotels to stay at.

The Melbourne-based Herald Sun reported: “Administrators say they will work through the weekend to try to find a ‘white knight’ to save the airline and the jobs of its 300 workers.”

Just two months ago, the airline threw a lavish launch party after rebranding itself as a budget holiday airline, the Australia News Ten channel reported.

Other airlines are stepping in to help the stranded passengers, including Hawaiian airlines. The airline is offering a $300 “rescue fare” to fly passengers home one-way.

By  |  12:36 PM ET, 02/17/2012

Tags:  World, Air Australia, Budget Travel

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