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Air Australia holds auction to pay off debts

From sick bags to life jackets, Air Australia hopes selling its "assets" will help pay off debts of $85 million.
Aus air auction 12 04 03Enlarge
A grounded Air Australia plane sits unattended on the tarmac of the Brisbane International airport in Brisbane on Feb. 17, after being placed into administration. Now the airline's owners are auctioning what few assets they had to help pay off their debts. (TERTIUS PICKARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Air Australia is holding a huge online auction in an attempt to pay off debts of almost AU$85 million (US$90 million).

The airline was placed into voluntary administration in February and then into liquidation in March, just six months after changing its name and becoming a budget carrier.

Since then, the airline has been grappling to recoup the funds to pay off its debts, The Australian says, and is holding the online fire sale of 110 items in a desperate attempt to raise cash.

Among the items for sale at Grays Online are a pallet of life jackets, 2,160 bottles of sandalwood hand wash, 12 disposable lap blankets, plastic cups and food trays, and three sets of A320 stairs.

Air Australia's liquidator KordaMentha is reportedly hoping to raise a six-figure amount from the auction, which ends on Thursday.

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News.com.au quotes administrator Mark Korda as saying that anything that could be sold had been put up for auction, but explained: "Air Australia mainly leased their assets".

"Hopefully the money raised will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It won't be in the millions," he said, adding that the profits would go towards paying employees' entitlements and KordaMentha's administrative costs.

About 4,000 passengers were left stranded in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as in the American state of Hawaii, in Thailand and on the Indonesian island of Bali, when the airline unexpectedly was placed in administration on Feb. 17.

More from GlobalPost: Air Australia runs out of cash and leaves thousands stranded overseas

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