Some 135 Brindabella Airlines staff are facing a grim Christmas after they were formally retrenched on Monday after administrators KordaMentha were unable to find a buyer for the failed regional airline.
“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,” KordaMentha executive director Sebastian Hams was reported as saying.
“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.”
A small number of staff are being retained to maintain Brindabella aircraft while a buyer can be found for them. About half the airline’s staff are based in Canberra, where the airline was headquartered.
The retrenchments follow Transport for NSW revoking Brindabella’s exclusive air licences for services from Sydney to Moree, Narrabri, Cobar, Cooma and Mudgee.
“This provides the green light for airlines who said publicly they are able to provide services to these communities on a temporary basis,” the NSW state government agency said in a December 19 statement.
“Interested airlines with appropriate Civil Aviation Safety Authority approvals are encouraged to approach Transport for NSW so we can restore services as soon as possible.”
Brindabella entered receiversship on December 15.