THE Narrabri community can finally put a turbulent few months behind it after Vincent Aviation was yesterday granted a four-year licence to operate flights to Sydney.
Transport for NSW announced yesterday the Darwin-based airline’s application to fly the Narrabri-to-Sydney route until 2018 had been successful.
The town was left without an air service when Brindabella Airlines collapsed late last year under the weight of millions of dollar of debt.
Keen to expand its NSW operations, Vincent Aviation stepped in to offer flights on a short-term licence until its application for the exclusive four-year licence was assessed.
Transport for NSW’s Tim Reardon said the department was confident the airline would be a good fit for the people of Narrabri and its surrounds.
“After meeting with Narrabri community representatives on the ground, including Narrabri Shire Council, we are confident Vincent Aviation’s application meets the community’s needs and satisfies the requirements of the Air Transport Act,” he said.
Narrabri mayor Conrad Bolton said he was delighted Vincent Aviation had been appointed to the route after coming to the aid of the community in its time of need.
“They stepped up into the market when there was a void there and Narrabri desperately needed to recover from that situation,” he said.
“They have provided a brilliant service to date. They’re a fair-dinkum company that’s been honest in their approach to us and has worked with the community in regards to their needs.”
Narrabri Chamber of Commerce president Richard Orr said the absence of air services had been a major blow to the business community.
“Obviously we’re pleased, because we need to get connected with the rest of the world, and we’re very grateful they’ve been able to step into the breach and get things going,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to having a long relationship with them.”
Vincent Aviation, which operates a daily return service between Narrabri and Sydney, has also floated the possibility it could eventually offer flights to Brisbane.