Formed in 1991. Formerly traded as Air Charter Logistics. Was named Strategic Airlines (STC) until being re-branded as Air Australia (STC) in late 2011. In August 2009, a sister airline was formed in Luxembourg operating as Strategic Airlines (STX). Charter, domestic, regional, & international, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
PO Box 25
Central Park, Victoria 3145, Australia
(Telephone: +61 3 9500 1300). (FAX: +61 3 9500 1855).
April 2002: Adopted its present name "Strategic Airlines."
May 2009: Strategic Airlines (STC) signed an agreement with Solomon Airlines (SOI) to provide an A320-200 for Brisbane - Honiara for Monday, Wednesday and Friday operations starting in August 2009.
Bill Tyson, (SOI) Chairman said "The airplane will give (SOI) the added capacity required to meet the growing tourism trends at somewhere around 18% increase annually; and also beds down certainty in the future of our international operation by securing a longer term arrangement that has capacity for growth." (STC) Executive Director, Michael James supported the statement "Besides the advantage of a dedicated A320 to (SOI) - - the airplane will also carry larger amounts of cargo as well as increase seating capacity. Additionally, it will have the ability to ensure tankerage of more fuel at a reduced price in Brisbane - - thus offering greater savings and more fuel economy."
June 2009: Strategic Airlines (STC) purchased Ozjet Airlines (OZJ). (STC) plans to introduce A320 airplanes to the Perth market on the Derby route by the end of September, in place of the currently chartered F 100. In May, (STC) placed an A320-200 into service with Solomon Airlines (SOI) on a Brisbane - Honiara flight. It reached agreement to lease an A330-200 from Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) in April and will begin operating the airplane in October. It expects a second A320-200 on lease from Aercap (DEA) to arrive next month.
July 2009: Strategic Airlines (STC) offers innovative and flexible air travel to the contract charter market and tour operators. (STC) also has the capacity to support major airlines, and offer specialist charter flights for blue chip companies, sports groups and the entertainment industry - - right through to Government dignitaries and Heads of State. (STC) will also provide charter options to holiday companies and large groups travelling to specialist destinations.
A330-223 (324, VH-SSA - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "STC-A330-200-2009-07"), Swiss International Airlines (CSR) leased.
August 2009: Strategic Airlines (STC), a scheduled, charter and (ACMI) wet-lease operator, said it received an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the French (DGAC). (STC) plans to operate two A320s in Europe. One already is flying on wet-lease with Solomon Airlines (SOI) and the second is expected to be available this month for (ACMI) and charter flights. (STC) acquired OzJet Airlines (OZJ) in June.
A third A320 will be added to operate the Perth - Derby route in Western Australia, presently subcontracted to Alliance Airlines. The A330 will be used for an Australian Defence Force contract to transport troops from Sydney through Darwin to the Arabian Gulf.
A320-212 (436, F-GSTR - - SEE PHOTO - - "STC-A320-212-2009-08"), AerCap (DEA) leased.
October 2009: A320-212 (190, VH-YQA), ex-(F-OHFU), delivery.
April 2010: A320-212 (446, YL-LCF), SmartLynx (LAJ) wet-leased.
May 2010: (AWAS) (AWW) delivered a second A320-200 to Strategic Airlines (STC), to be based in France and used throughout Europe under charter contracts on behalf of third parties.
August 2010: Up to four new Indonesian airlines are expected to be given rights to fly from Indonesia to Australia after the two countries announced an increase of almost +50% in the weekly capacity to 14,800 seats. Indonesian carrier Batavia Air (BTV) announced it had been given rights to fly from Bali to Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney, while applications from Sriwijaya Air, Mandala Airlines (MND) and Lion Air (MLI) are pending.
Australian-based Pacific Blue (PBI), Jetstar (IMU) and Strategic Airlines (STC) - - along with AirAsia Indonesia (AWR) and Garuda (GIA) - - already operate on the principal routes leading some analysts to suggest that too many airlines were being allowed to service the market. However, that market is growing at an unprecedented rate. Travel from Perth to Bali jumped +46% in 2009 with 463,352 passengers carried both ways and early figures point to another +50% increase this year.
(ICAO) Code: STZ (Callsign - FRENCH BIRD).
September 2010: Strategic Airlines (STC) will boost Brisbane - Bali services from once-weekly to three-times-weekly on December 3.
(STC) has been granted a new Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Luxembourg (DGAC). A320-212 (0446), re-registered as (LX-STA).
November 2010: Strategic Airlines (STC) is increasing its Brisbane to Bali rotations from one to three times a week with the introduction if its new Brisbane - Townsville - Denpasar rotation on December 3. The full service flights which are to be flown by an A320 have 12C business seats and 144Y economy and will depart Brisbane every Friday and Sunday.
April 2011: Strategic Airlines (STC) has leased new premises in Brisbane including an Engineering and Maintenance hangar facility at Brisbane International airport and a Corporate headquarters. (STC) is waiting for its Maintenance license to be granted by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, then the hangar will be used to undertake maintenance on (STC)'s A320 fleet.
May 2011: Sabre signed a distribution agreement with Strategic Airlines (STC), under which it will provide Sabre-connected travel agents with complete access to the (STC)’s fares, inventory and schedules.
June 2011: Virgin Atlantic Cargo (VAA) won a contract from Strategic Airlines (STC) under which it will manage (STC)'s long-haul cargo activity and apply the Virgin brand to its twice-weekly, Brisbane A330-200 service to Phuket, as well as twice-weekly, Melbourne - Phuket and twice-weekly, Brisbane - Bali service.
August 2011: Strategic Airlines (STC) will launch flights between Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu on December 14 after receiving approval from the USA Department of Transportation. The flights will be operated by A330s with 30C business-class seats and 244Y in economy and will depart Brisbane on Wednesdays and Fridays and Melbourne on Thursdays and Saturdays.
(STC) also announced that from December it will launch a domestic four-times-daily, A320 service between Melbourne and Brisbane so passengers from Melbourne can connect to (STC)'s services to Bali and Phuket.
In addition to rights to fly to the USA, (STC) has also gained approval to operate services between Australia and China. "We are now assessing potential opportunities and working on all regulatory requirements with China regulators," (STC) stated. (STC), until now mainly a charter airline, is aggressively developing international and domestic scheduled routes.
September 2011: Strategic Airlines (STC) announced it will be renamed "Air Australia" later this year. SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "STC-2011-09-NEW LIVERY."
(STC) said last month it would launch flights from Brisbane and Melbourne (MEL) to Honolulu on December 14 after receiving approval from the USA Department of Transportation. Those flights will be operated by A330s with 30C business-class seats and 244Y in economy.
Launched in 1991 as an airplane broker, (STC) obtained its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in 2009 as a charter operator. (STC) now operates scheduled passenger service on routes including (MEL) - Phuket (HKT), Brisbane (BNE) - (HKT), (BNE) - Bali, (BNE) - Port Hedland, and Perth - Derby. Domestic (MEL) - (BNE) flights will commence from December.
The new image and livery was designed by CumminsRoss in Australia. According to Executive Director, Sean Cummins, the task was as much about design as it was about communication. "The challenge was to convey a modern Australian aviation product, for a company with its own heritage and an instant sense of familiarity and likeability," Cummins said. "Green is our key color with a hint of gold and subtle silver-grey representing gum trees, koalas and gray kangaroos." He noted that the Air Australia symbol is a "stylized boomerang, the most striking icon of flight in the Australian lexicon. Because of the company's strong history as a defense force charter company, we have also incorporated the rising sun, also a strong Australian symbol also found on the Australian Army badge."
In addition to rights to fly to the USA, Strategic (STC) has also gained approval to operate services between Australia and China. "We are now assessing potential opportunities and working on all regulatory requirements with China regulators," (STC) stated.
November 2011: Air Australia (STC) hopes to break into the longhaul market with flights to Vietnam next Spring. (STC) applied for flights to Vietnam four times a week from either Brsibane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. As a low cost carrier (LCC), (STC) is to serve leisure destinations like Bali, Denpasar, Honolulu, and Phuket. (STC) also has flight rights to serve mainland China.
February 2012: The administrators of grounded Air Australia (STC) will attempt to sell all or part of the airline as questions are being raised about how long parent company, the Strategic Aviation Group kept a lid on its financial troubles.
KordaMentha administrator, Mark Korda said he would be calling for immediate expressions of interest in the sale of the seven companies making up the business.
(STC)'s fleet of three A320 and two A330 airplanes was grounded after it ran out of money and could no longer pay for fuel.
Other companies in the group include a charter and maintenance operation, but there were doubts last night about how many assets they held.
One of the A330 airplanes operating Air Australia (STC)'s routes is on a temporary wet lease (including crew) from Turkish operator Atlasjet (ABE) and the other four are leased from USA companies.
Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten said the airline's 300 staff would receive basic guaranteed entitlements of pay, superannuation and up to 16 weeks redundancy if it moves into liquidation. But it is understood there is little left for creditors and as many as 4,000 stranded passengers have been told to make their own way home.
Other airlines offered to replace Air Australia (ASC) tickets at the same price or fly the stranded passengers at reduced fares. The administrators have told them to contact credit card companies or travel agents. People who paid cash, would be out of pocket unless their travel insurance covered insolvency.
But at least one major Australian company, Cover-More, suspended insolvency insurance late last year because of worries about the airline's financial health.
Headed by former Ansett executive, Michael James, Air Australia (STC) was an attempt by Strategic to diversify after it lost a $90 million defence contract amid a public brawl with rival Adagold.
It services Australian domestic destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane, Port Hedland and Derby as well as Bali, Phuket and Honolulu. It also has been seeking rights to Vietnam, China and the USA.
Mr Korda said it was too early to predict the ultimate position of Air Australia or to be precise about the reasons for the group's problems. But "The Weekend Australian" understands (STC) had used up a $30 million credit line and was facing a $1.6 million insurance bill with no ability to pay.
Creditors ranging from Qantas (QAN) to Air Services Australia and airports had also been having difficulty getting paid.
There had been worries about Air Australia (STC)'s financial health since last year when the Civil Aviation Safety Authority commissioned a review of the airline but did not find safety problems.
Dun & Bradstreet also had raised issues as early as August when it assessed Strategic (STC) had a higher than average probability of going bankrupt in the next 12 months. It moved it into the severe-risk category in November.
It was about this time that British insurance underwriter International Passenger Protection refused to provide insolvency cover and was joined a few weeks later by Cover-More.
Asked about the possibility of an investigation into the company, an Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) spokesman said: "We cannot comment on specific instances but, more broadly, trading while insolvent is a serious breach of the law and something on which the (ASIC) would take action."
October 2012: Luxembourg charter carrier, Strategic Airlines (STX) (the sister company of Air Australia (STC)) has suspended operations after entering into administration.
Luxembourg Civil Aviation Directorate, Frank Kraus said: “I can confirm the suspension of all air operations by Strategic Airlines (STX), which is under administration procedure.”
(STX) could not be reached for comment, but a Luxembourg District Court ruling confirmed Strategic Airlines (STX) formally went into administration on October 4. It added the airline’s creditors must submit any claims by October 22.
Local media reports said (STX) went into administration after losing a contract from UK tour operator Olympic Holidays, following the same path as its Brisbane-based, sister carrier, Air Australia (STC), which entered into administration on February 17.
(STX) launched in October 2010, operating flights from UK airports on behalf of tour operators, other airlines and brokers.
(STX) operated two dedicated A320s from three UK airports (Manchester, Gatwick, and Birmingham) to holiday destinations in Greece and Cyprus on behalf of Olympic Holidays.