Chances are pretty good that the Chief Financial Officer at Shellharbour City Council is feeling pretty happy right now.
A few months ago the council was looking for a regional airline to operate out of Illawarra Regional Airport after JetGo first went into administration before being wound up a month later.
Two companies had flagged an interest – Stratus Aviation Group and Fly Corporate.
With the news that JetGo may have been trading while insolvent for almost two years, it was beholden on Shellharbour City Council to pay close attention to the financial details.
After all, having whichever company replacing JetGo hit financial turbulence of its own would have been disastrous.
Initially, both bids were rejected by Shellharbour City councillors for failing to meet the criteria, which included that they were “deemed financially sustainable for the long term”.
However, in a closed session of a council meeting, Fly Corporate was given the green light.
Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council’s assessment of Fly Corporate had been “very, very thorough”.
“We have been through their books with a fine-tooth comb,” she said soon after the announcement.
“I’m as confident as I can be that we have done everything we possibly can.”
As it turns out it seem the council’s chief financial officer and their team made the right decision in going with Fly Corporate.
This week Stratus Aviation Group will face its own winding up order in the Victorian Supreme Court.
The case has been brought by a charter flight company that claims it is owed around $80,000.
According to lawyers for the charter company, Stratus has other creditors as well.
After the fallout from the JetGo collapse, some stability and reassurance was needed.
While Cr Saliba can’t say just what the council team saw in the Stratus financials, it was obviously enough for it to decide not to take that risk.
Which seems to be a wise move indeed.