Hawaii Air Australia suspends flights, strands Hawaii passengers By Shane Nelson / February 20, 2012 Share 1 -- Air Australia grounded its fleet and entered into the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy proceedings Feb. 17, claiming it no longer had sufficient funds to meet operational expenses. The airline’s indefinite suspension of service stranded 500 to 600 passengers in the Aloha State over the weekend, according to a statement from Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney. “Australia continues to be an important market to Hawaii's tourism economy, and we will continue to support carriers servicing this region,” McCartney added. “We will also continue to work with our airline partners to look at ways to restore the loss of airlift to the Hawaiian Islands.” Air Australia launched Hawaii’s only nonstop service from Honolulu to both Brisbane and Melbourne in December; the flights operated twice weekly. Hawaiian Airlines has since launched a $300 one-way “rescue” fare for Air Australia customers, but the Honolulu-based carrier only flies to Sydney. Qantas and Jetstar also offer flights from Honolulu to Australia.