Job losses are not yet revealed, but they will be heavy.
Even the announcement from the LNP Government and Minister for Transport Scott Emerson is titled with a lie "New Deal for Queensland's Regional Airlines". The "new deal" is NO deal, with all the services now scheduled to be provided by either Qantaslink or ReX.
The Cairns Chamber, in a stunning act of hubris, has issued a scathing press release denouncing the decision and the violation of the LNP's "Buy Local" campaign. The statement is also signed by TTNQ and Advance Cairns.
Insiders have reported that the difference in bids for the FNQ routes was literally "pennies" with the Minister using "alternative factors" to make the decision. The same insiders have also reported these "alternative factors" were in fact direct lobbying AGAINST Skytrans by MP for Cairns and Minister for MacKenzie Gavin King. Most of the city leadership are well aware of the longstanding feud between King and Skytrans CEO Simon Wild. This includes Chamber CEO Deb Hancock, who has often been seen batting her eyelashes and swooning in King's presence.
The Wild family has been a great employer and benefactor to the community. This is a clear political "get square" by King - and one that may cost Cape York MP David Kempton his seat. Kempton is known to be livid at the decision. And King, already resigned to the polls which show him losing handily to CRC Councillor Rob Pyne, is now in destruction mode.
Insiders report that King made his pitch against Skytrans to Morrison numerous times, with King known to be "persona non grata" with the Premier.
King is also said to be the "black hand" in throwing the Skytrans sponsorship of the Taipans under the bus - using Cairns nonRegional Councillors Schilling and O'Halloran to oppose their sponsorship renewal. They were subsequently replaced by Central Queensland University - who don't even have a campus in Cairns!
This is economic terrorism on the citizens of Cairns.
And the loss of Skytrans as a regional carrier and employer in Cairns will threaten the growing aviation mechanic training schemes at the airport - one of the few bright spots of employment during the last ten years.