Flights cancelled as Vincent Aviation falls into receivership

NARRABRI has again lost its air link to the state's capital after the shock announcement that Vincent Aviation had fallen into receivership.

The Darwin-based airline was only granted a four-year licence to operate the Narrabri-Sydney service in March following the collapse of Brindabella.

Andrew Fielding and Gerald Collins of accountancy firm BDO were appointed receivers and managers of the company, which employs about 80 staff.

Mr Fielding said a "range of factors" were behind the airline's financial woes, but "particularly market conditions had contributed to the current situation".

"The prudent step was taken by the company's management to cease trading to enhance the recoveries to all creditors," he said.

"The company has cancelled all flights and customers should make alternative travel arrangements."

Transport for NSW, which appointed the airline to the government-regulated route, said late yesterday it had not been informed of "any changes to this service".

An industry insider told The Leader that "everyone knew this was coming, including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Transport for NSW".

"If Brindabella couldn't make Narrabri work with 19-seat aircraft, then how could Vincent make it work with 34-seaters?" he said.

"The government's job is to do due diligence (before awarding licences on exclusive routes), but they obviously haven't done it here."

But Narrabri mayor Conrad Bolton said the collapse had caught council completely by surprise as passenger numbers had been increasing each month.

"This is fairly raw news at the moment," he said. "We'll have a clearer picture (today) of what steps we need to take to get a service back."

Vincent Aviation did not respond to The Leader's calls.

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