James’ Best­jet “heart­break”

Travel Daily - - Front Page -

RACHEL James, the founder of the col­lapsed Best­jet Travel on­line agency (TD 19 Dec 2018) claims she and her fam­ily are dis­traught at the com­pany’s fail­ure just a few weeks af­ter it was sold to the McVicker fam­ily (TD 06 Nov).

James broke her si­lence over the col­lapse on the week­end, cit­ing her heart­break over “poor man­age­ment by McVicker In­ter­na­tional and ques­tion­able ac­tions from con­sol­ida­tors, banks and air­lines to re­coup funds”.

Rachel James noted that the sale of Best­jet had in­cluded for­mal due dili­gence un­der­taken by ac­count­ing firm BDO, and that she and her fam­ily had “not re­ceived a sin­gle pay­ment from new owner Robert McVicker.

“Its demise since re­lin­quish­ing con­trol is heart­break­ing and has rat­tled our fam­ily as we come to terms both with un­em­ploy­ment and with­out pro­ceeds from the sale,” she lamented.

“We sim­ply can­not be­lieve the dev­as­ta­tion caused by the ac­tions and in­ac­tions taken by Robert McVicker, with each day of in­ef­fi­cient man­age­ment cost­ing the busi­ness an av­er­age of $2.5 mil­lion,” James added.

How­ever her state­ment didn’t ad­dress al­le­ga­tions by the com­pany’s ad­min­is­tra­tors, Pi­lot Part­ners, that James had il­le­gally re­tained con­trol of the Best­jet servers, sys­tems and web­site

(TD 02 Jan), nor claimed “acts of in­ter­fer­ence” such as an unau­tho­rised email alert sent to the Best­jet cus­tomer data­base (TD break­ing news 24 Dec).

There was also no men­tion of her hus­band, Michael James, who was cited in a re­port to the ad­min­is­tra­tors as hav­ing con­trol of the Best­jet ac­counts (TD Thu) de­spite pre­vi­ous as­ser­tions that the dis­graced for­mer Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the col­lapsed Air Aus­tralia was not in­volved in man­age­ment of the on­line travel agency.

McVicker has noted that he was a direc­tor of the Best­jet group for just 39 days, say­ing he took the role fol­low­ing as­ser­tions that the busi­ness could be sub­stan­tially im­proved by rene­go­ti­at­ing con­tracts and ad­dress­ing cus­tomer ser­vice is­sues.

“Later in my ten­ure we were told a $3.2 mil­lion pay­ment would be trans­ferred from Best­jet Sin­ga­pore (an en­tity out­side of the Best­jet Group’s con­trol) on or be­fore the 17th of Dec.

“This did not ma­te­ri­alise...I was then legally obliged as direc­tor to place the Best­jet Group into vol­un­tary ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

McVicker added that he was re­strained from giv­ing any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion “due to le­gal is­sues based on mis­lead­ing and de­cep­tive ac­tions by oth­ers”.

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