JetGo cancels regional fights while legal battle rages

JetGo cancels regional fights while legal battle rages
Photo by Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons

JetGo is a company that may not be well known in Australia unless you live in regional areas, however, it has played an essential role in its short time of operation. The company allows regional airports to link with others along with a select few bigger airports in the country such as in Sydney and Melbourne.

In late May, the Dubbo council took up legal action against the company in the Supreme Court over $270,000 which it claims was owed in airport fees to keep their planes at the location. It was just the beginning, however, as all flights ended up being cancelled on the first of June, meaning over 10,000 customers now want refunds of around $4 million all up.

There is going to be a meeting of stockholders to determine the fate of the company, and whether it should be liquidated, however, there are also rumours of other bigger airline companies thinking about whether they want to buy out the company. This possibility could stop a needed service from being shutdown, which is good because some people don’t realise just how vital JetGo’s service is. Some people see it as just ease of transport for people in regional areas, but it’s more than just that.

The service is used by doctors to fly in and out of remote areas that they are called into regularly. It means if the company stopped their service the doctors would have no easy way to fly into the regional areas. Dr Rochana Chandraratne is one of these doctors. He lives in Brisbane however he works in north-west Dubbo quite a lot. “I work as a GP there and also look after the hospital as an on-call GP” Rochana stated in an interview “There are another two doctors in the area, and both of them are travelling.”

Rochana points out that he may have to work elsewhere if the direct flight is removed because the commute in any other way would be too much. “If I’m given another choice to work in another location where there is a direct flight, I’ll consider it” he explained, “If JetGo could resume services that would be wonderful.”

With the possibility of JetGo being bought out becoming more and more likely, the service may still become viable, but the question is if it will be done in time. It’s already affected a lot of people, but if not handled quickly, small regional areas may even lose doctors, putting stress on the already thinly stretched regional healthcare system.