The Australian state of Queensland's government has publicly rejected a request by local carrier MacAir for a A$7 million ($4.6 million) bailout as some of the airline's creditors have sought to wind up the company.

The Queensland Supreme Court says on its website that Australian companies Air Partner Leasing No 2 and Riel Finance are creditors that have lodged an application with the court to wind up MacAir.

Air Partner Leasing No 2 is the main applicant and Riel Finance is a third party in the case against MacAir, says the court, adding that the application was lodged on 8 January.

Court records show that another creditor, UD Finance, filed a similar application on 13 January.

Industry sources say Air Partner Leasing No 2 and Riel Finance control several of the Saab A340Bs leased to MacAir.

According to Flight's ACAS database MacAir operates seven 340Bs and one ATR 42.

MacAir owner and managing director Terry Byrt has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the airline is seeking an ex-gratia payment of A$7 million from the Queensland Government.

He says the money is needed to clear the airline's longstanding debt and ensure it can continue.

The Queensland Government already pays MacAir A$4.7 million a year to operate on regional routes deemed to be essential services and the Government has offered to pay MacAir a further A$3 million a year for these services, says the ABC.

But Byrt says the airline needs more money.

"We cannot continue to lose money like we're losing on the contracts - there's no business that can go down the path [of] continually losing money," he says.

The ABC quotes a letter that it says Byrt sent to local councils saying without financial assistance MacAir would have no choice but to cease trading.

A spokeswoman in Brisbane for Queensland's transport minister, John Mickel, tells ATI that MacAir has asked the Queensland Government for A$7 million as an "ex-gratia payment and the transport minister has said the Government already subsidises the airline".

She says the Government has offered to pay an extra A$3 million each year but the airline has rejected this, she adds.

Byrt as well as MacAir acting CEO Dale Webb and newly appointed financial controller Wayde Chiesa were unavailable for comment today.

ATI reported on 8 January that MacAir would be axing over 30 positions in January.

MacAir is one of the largest regional airlines in Queensland and operates to many remote townships.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news