Hundreds of travellers were stranded in Bali after an Australian budget airline went into administration over the weekend.
Brisbane-based Air Australia announced on Friday that all flights had been cancelled. Around 4,000 passengers were overseas at the time in destinations, including Bali.
According to administrator MarkKorda the move to place the airline in administration was prompted by an incident in which the company was unable to refuel one of its planes in Phuket, Thailand, because it could not pay bills with the supplier there.
“Air Australia was unable to purchase fuel in Phuket to refuel the planes, so the directors had a meeting at 1.30 this morning and appointed us as administrators due to the solvency of the company,” the firm said on Friday.
The company, previously known as Strategic Airlines, had only launched services under the Air Australia brand last November, using five aircraft.
Other airlines, including Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia, stepped in to help return stranded passengers to Australia.
Australian consular officials were on duty at Ngurah Rai International Airport over the weekend to assist affected passengers.
Australian embassy spokesman Ray Marcelo said officials would offer assistance such as emergency loans and help finding places for passengers to stay.
As February is low season many other airlines had empty seats available, and it is believed all affected passengers were able to return to Australia with alternative airlines.