No cheer for this unlucky squad

National Champions, the MDC Superstar Cheerleaders squad, lost their flights to Hawaii to compete when Air Australia went bust.
National Champions, the MDC Superstar Cheerleaders squad, lost their flights to Hawaii to compete when Air Australia went bust. Che Chapman

AIR Australia's financial crash has taken the cheer from one of Australia's cheerleading champions.

Maroochydore MDC Superstarz paid the final amount for the $66,000 airfare to Hawaii last Thursday.

The team of 60, aged between eight and 20, had been selected to represent Australia at the Aloha International Spirit Championships in April.

They woke early on Friday morning to discover their airline, Air Australia, had gone bust.

Most of the team paid their airfare in full using direct deposit and now there is virtually no hope of getting any cash back.

Administrators revealed on Wednesday the airline owes creditors up to $90 million.

The cheer group has only a couple of weeks left to raise funds to make the dream they've worked so hard for come true.

MDC Superstarz won the Aussie Gold Cheer and Dance Internationals last July and was chosen from more than 200 teams across the country to compete in the international event, starting on April 6.

They're the only team from Australia to be selected for the prestigious event and the only team ever from Queensland.

Most students and their parents can't afford another $1100 each for the airfare.

The team's oldest member Emma Stewart, 20, said they'd been doing what they can to fundraise.

Other airlines haven't offered to help out.

"We have contacted lots of them, but most haven't replied," Emma said.

The thought they might miss the event they've worked so hard for was almost too much.

"This will be such a disappointment, especially when the girls have been training for the past 12 months over seven hours a week," Emma said.

"Along with our airfares, we will lose our accommodation and entry fees.

"Each person is now out of pocket at least $1700. We also had parents flying over there to surprise their children.

"This is the most devastating thing to happen to our team as it was such a great honour to win the bid to compete."

Maroochydore's Pacific Ford and car enthusiast Dan Bowden have given the crew a chance to raise some funds by washing cars at a massive car wash tomorrow from 8am-2pm. The girls will also be hosting a benefit concert on March 17. Details at

Topics:  air australia flights hawaii

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