Finance Finance News Brindabella Airline staff to be retrenched

Brindabella Airline staff to be retrenched

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About 135 Brindabella Airlines staff have been retrenched after the regional carrier went into receivership last week.

Receivers broke the news to workers in Canberra, Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane this morning.

All flights were suspended and about 140 staff were stood down without pay when the airline went into receivership on December 15.

Insolvency firm KordaMentha has been unable to find a buyer for the Canberra-based airline, which is millions-of-dollars in debt.

KordaMentha executive director Sebastian Hams says with no real prospects on the horizon they had no option but to retrench staff.

“What we can’t do is give staff false hope, we’ve got to be realistic and there’s no point in prolonging the inevitable,” he said.

“We understand it’s an incredibly difficult time for staff. We’re trying to make the best of a very, very bad situation. Obviously two days before Christmas is terrible for staff and their families.”

It is not yet clear whether workers will receive their full entitlements because payouts will be reliant on a Federal Government scheme.

About a dozen staff will remain in Canberra to maintain the planes until the business is sold or wound up.

“We will try to sell the airline. It is unlikely at this time given the regulated routes are no longer in place,” Mr Hams said.

“But we will continue to look to sell the airline in some form or the aircraft fleet.”

The collapse has left hundreds of passengers stranded across regional New South Wales leading up to Christmas.

A relief air service has been announced by QantasLink for passengers travelling to and from Moree in northern NSW.

The NSW Government is also calling for expressions of interest from all operators to run services permanently to Moree, Narrabri, Cobar, Cooma and Mudgee.

However, none of the other routes operated by Brindabella Airlines, including Coffs Harbour-Brisbane, are regulated by Transport for NSW.

Any operator with the appropriate CASA approvals may provide those services.