When first approached by the Illawarra Mercury last month, JetGo managing director Paul Bredereck (pictured) dismissed any suggestion the company was in financial turmoil as was rumoured.
When tackled again soon after to go on the record about information the Mercury had uncovered about a western NSW council lodging legal proceedings against the company, Mr Bredereck remained defiant.
In the face of the legal action brought against the company by Dubbo Regional Council, the airline boss claimed it was business as usual and JetGo would fight and win against the action.
“It is unfortunate and highly unusual that Dubbo Regional Council has chosen to go down this path, and we would consider it to be ethically inappropriate,” he said at the time.
“In any case, the size of the debt is manageable if we were to lose, but we don’t believe we will lose. This has no implication for services in other area, including the Illawarra. Airlines have good times and tough times, it’s all part of the business cycle.”
In fact, Mr Bredereck even went as far as going onto our Facebook page accusing the Illawarra Mercury of reporting “fake news”. Seems not, Mr Bredereck.
The Illawarra Mercury again broke the news JetGo flights had been suspended and it confirmed soon after the company had in fact gone into administration.
What was revealed at a meeting of the company’s creditors in Brisbane on Wednesday was nothing short of staggering.
The company is up to $32 million in debt with creditors including 10,000 customers, employees, 12 secured creditors and 200 unsecured creditors. Among those owed money are many councils including our very own Shellharbour Council.
Across the country ratepayers were asking of their councils questions like those posed by Craig Ridding in our Facebook page.
“And the council knew nothing about it?” Mr Ridding said.
“The council needs to admit that they gambled ratepayers funds by not ceasing trading when JetGo exceeded trading terms. Who is responsible for letting the debt roll into $400000 + of the public's purse... who is taking the responsibility for that?”
All mighty fine questions no doubt being chorused by ratepayers who will end up wearing these debts. Let alone the poor passengers who are left high and dry.