Although Air Australia was known under this name for only half a year, the company had a twenty years long history.
It was founded back in 1991 under the name Strategic Aviation. The company specialized in oversize cargo and utilized Antonov An-124, Ilyushin Il-76 and Boeing 747 aircraft. After a while, the company shifted away from cargo to flying troops when it won the Australian Defence Force Troop Lift Contract. The company now used leased Airbus A330s.
However, Strategic eventually lost the contract and had to change its source of income yet again. This time, the company started offering flights to the general public and slightly changed its name to Strategic Airlines. It even acquired troubled carrier OzJet in 2009 and A320 aircraft also entered its fleet around that time.
The airline soon announced it would rebrand to Air Australia and finally did so late last year. But with rebranding also came the change of business model; the airline, which was a full-service carrier up until now, became an LCC.
It hasn't been known much about the financial health of the airline, which is understandable since the airline operated only a couple of A320s and A330s (although it did plan to expand to around 20 aircraft soon). It is speculated that change of business model, costs of rebranding, reckless management, weird choice of destinations, small network and poor financial state with lack of cash all contributed to bankruptcy.
Around 4,000 people were left stranded and additional 100,000 will have to find alternatives. The airline was placed into voluntary administration and is unlikely to continue operations any time soon