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Brindabella suspends services, calls in receivers

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 15, 2013
A file image of a Brindabella Airlines Metro. (Paul Sadler)
A file image of a Brindabella Airlines Metro. (Paul Sadler)

Canberra-based regional airline Brindabella Airlines has called in receivers and suspended operations after a second CASA grounding of aircraft in its fleet due to incomplete maintenance.

David Winterbottom and Sebastian Hams of KordaMentha were appointed receivers for the airline and its associated businesses on Sunday, the day after Brindabella grounded all aircraft in its fleet not already grounded by a CASA grounding of its Jetstream 41 aircraft in late November.

Codesharing partner Qantas has stepped in to operate some of the airline’s regional NSW services, while the administrators say they will call for immediate expressions of interest in the sale of the business, “however the business would not continue to operate whilst the sale process is conducted”.

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“Given the approaching Christmas and New Year period we will be working very hard to minimise the inconvenience to customers and importantly, enable alternative travel options,” Winterbottom said.

In a statement the administrators said it was “too early to predict the ultimate future of Brindabella or to be precise about the reasons for the Group’s problems, however the competitive nature of the airline industry, regulatory and maintenance issues and the financial pressures this would have placed on the airline would certainly be significant factors”.

Noted the statement: “Brindabella Airlines senior management are working with KordaMentha and are assisting with any requests made of them.”

Brindabella employed 140 staff and operated five Metros and seven Jetstream aircraft on up to 250 sectors a week, with services from Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane to Newcastle, Cobar, Coffs Harbour, Moree, Mudgee, Narrabri, Newcastle, Orange and Tamworth.

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8 Comments

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    says:

    Being a Canberra native, this is very sad.

  • Scott

    says:

    Piece by Piece, Australian businesses of all sorts are falling apart. I’ve flown Brindabella and they are a good opertor. But foeiegn imports are killing local businesses, at some point there will be nothing Australian left in Aussie Businisses, those with jobs will pay huge tax, and those without will remain, without…

    Its time we looked after ourselves as well as ensured a fair and level playing field. What next, QF to be wholly foriegn owned, no maintenance carried out in country, and all foriegn crews..? Its not far off, and it may be too late for Government protection of OUR industry..

  • craig

    says:

    No doubt QF will take want they want, or will they ???

  • Rod Shephard

    says:

    A very sad day for regional aviation. It’s the passing of an era and hopefully they will get a new owner to rebuild the airline to continue the pivotal and important role in regional Australia. Thoughts are with the 140 loyal staff.

  • Greg

    says:

    Scott.

    That’s a very misguided comment. Brindabella didn’t shut down because of foreign competition. It shut down because it has a poor maintenance system in place that caused it to not service aircraft for over a year past it’s due by date.

    If Brindabella were to have had an accident and all onboard were to perish I don’t think you would be blaming foreign competition at all.

    This is a sad day for the rural people of Australia and hopefully QF VA or Rex will step in to fill the void

  • PeterL

    says:

    I do not know about anyone else but my experience with Brindabella over the past two years has not been good. Planes were always late, I have had planes cancelled at the last minute and I do not mean recently either.

    Brindabella never pass on information needed to update the arrival or departure boards at Canberra airport making it very frustrating when trying to find out what is going on. Then Brindabella started cancelling routes altogether, eg Canberra-Tamworth etc, the sort of routes we want to see from our regionals, bypassing hubs.

    Brindabella has been in decline for some time and just how bad is seen with CASA grounding aircraft due to maintenance issues. Did this all start when a change in ownership took place you have to ask?

    I have to say my experience with Rex has not been a whole lot better either. I do not think that regionals realise the problems they cause when they decide at the last minute to moved your departure time forward or delay it. I have had the regionals do this to me too many times. Do they realise that we might have connecting flights that are then affected???

    I have to say I have been very very impressed with Qantas when my Christmas Brindabella flights were cancelled. Qantas stepped up and offered me replacement flights at a terrific price, well done Qantas!

    I am now very reluctant to use regionals due to the bad service I have received and if I can get flights on mainline airlines, even if it requires a change of aircraft at Sydney etc, I will use them in preference as at least I know I will get there.

  • Dan

    says:

    Very upsetting indeed. We have lost so much of our identity in aviation over the past 15 years that it’s saddening. We’ve lost yet another Australian airline and still retain the two largely foreign-controlled carriers TigerAir and Virgin Australia which now owns Sky West. It’s tragic how the Australian Government do absolutely nothing to prevent these things from occurring. The way things are going, in 2020 it seems we’ll see Emirates or Etihad being one of the major domestic carriers within Australia!

  • Dan

    says:

    I understand why it is necessary to ground aircraft over safety issues, but I believe more should be done to support the airline’s financial state and assist the workers and their families.

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