Brindabella Airlines has begun returning its four Jetstream 41 aircraft into service after they were grounded on Friday for overdue engine maintenance checks.
“Brindabella Airlines maintenance review of Jetstream aircraft sees one aircraft back to service. Three to go,” CASA announced via its Twitter account on Thursday morning.
The Canberra-based regional airline, which merged with Newcastle-based Aeropelican Air Services earlier this year and recently entered into a codesharing agreement with Qantas on five of its routes, has seen widespread disruptions across its network in the past week thanks to the groundings. Qantas has stepped in to operate a limited number of services between Brisbane and Tamworth and Sydney to Moree.
“We have a program of audits, surveillance and spot checks…[and] this was a routine review of one aspect of Brindabella’s operations, and it was uncovered that these inspections were overdue,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson earlier told Narrabri’s The Courier newspaper.
On November 19 issued a brief statement on its website concerning the groundings: “Brindabella Airlines have been working hard during the past several days to perform a maintenance review on some of the aircraft in its fleet. This work has unfortunately resulted in some disruption within our network. Brindabella Airlines is currently operating services to all ports on its network, however with modified schedules and frequency. Brindabella look forward to restoring full scheduled services very shortly and apologise to any of its loyal customers who may have been affected.”
One of the four J41s was already undergoing maintenance when the type was grounded.
Brindabella’s 10 aircraft fleet also includes Jetsream 31s and Metros. The airline normally operates nearly 300 flights a week to Brisbane, Canberra, Cobar, Cooma, Coffs Harbour, Moree, Mudgee, Narrabri, Newcastle, Orange, Sydney and Tamworth. Brindabella was established in 1994 and was acquired by current owner Business Air Holdings, which already owned Aeropelican, in 2011.