At a hastily arranged press conference at its Bali Headquarters on Wednesday, November 23, 2005, Air Paradise International announced an immediate suspension of its services.
Citing the "devastating effects of the recent terrorist attacks," the Airline's Chairman and Sole-owner, Bali businessman Kadek Wiranatha, spoke at the press conference where he personally offered his sincere apologies to the Airline's 360 employees, creditors and the traveling public inconvenienced by the sudden shut down.
The decision to cease operations reportedly follows several weeks of frantic and ultimately fruitless meetings with potential partners and investors in a last-ditch effort to rescue the carrier.
Air Paradise has retained Australian corporate recovery specialist KordaMentha as consultants to assist in the complicated steps required to formally cease operations. A well-known expert in such matters, KordaMentha guided now defunct Ansett Airlines through its financial administration and closure.
Qantas to Assist Stranded Passengers
Mr. Mark Korda of KordaMentha announced that Mr. Geoff Dixon, Chief Executive of Qantas Airways, has agreed to repatriate any Air Paradise Passengers stranded in either Australia or Bali on their flights operating through December 16, 2005. Mr. Korda said: "The Directors of Air Paradise whish to publicly thank Mr. Dixon and Qantas for their generosity and the speed at which Qantas has responded to the needs of Air Paradise passengers in such difficult circumstances."
• Air Paradise passengers who have already departed and are currently in Indonesia should contact Qantas at (0361)-288331 or toll-free within Indonesia at 001-803-61336. Alternatively, call Australia at ++61-7-32387776 to secure return bookings.
• Stranded passengers can also come to the Qantas office at the Grand Bali Beach Hotel for assistance in obtaining a new booking.
• Passengers who have purchased tickets but not commenced their journeys should monitor the Air Paradise web site for further information.
• Creditors of the Airline should also monitor the web site where information on claim procedures will soon be posted and updated.
• Australians needing financial assistance due to their unexpected extension in Bali should contact the Australian Consulate General in Bali at (0361)-241118 for information on tranfering funds from Australia.
• Passengers in Australia who have purchased a combined land and air package sold by Air Paradise are eligable to lodge a claim for a refund through a consumer protection fund. The compensation is only available for combined "land-air" packages and does not cover those who purchased "air only" tickets or "land only" arrangements.
An estimated 1,500 Air Paradise passengers are currently in Bali who will be provided seats on a first available basis with Qantas back to their original destinations.
A Sad Day for Bali
The colorful and charismatic Balinese businessman, Kadek Wiranatha commenced operation of the airline in February 2003, just months after the devastating Bali bombing of October 2002.
Initially operating service to Perth, Western Australia, the Airline at its peak operated 4 leased wide-body aircraft flying between five cities in Australia and Bali carrying an average 20,000 Australian tourists to Bali every month. In addition, the Airline also provided services to South Korean and Japan.
Passionately dedicated to helping Bali's tourism industry, Kadek Wiranatha and his Airline played a key role in Bali's rapid recovery from the 2002 terrorist attack and bringing Australian visitor back to the island in record numbers.
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