Packing up ... Staff leave Brindabella Airlines after the announcement. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Retrenched Brindabella Airlines employees could have to wait three months to receive their entitlements and even then seem likely to be left out of pocket.
As the likelihood of the airline being bought all but evaporated on Monday morning, most of the airline's 140 staff were told they had lost their jobs.
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Brindabella Airlines' staff after the announcement. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has written to several airlines asking them to find jobs for Brindabella staff and requested the receiver, KordaMentha, to speed up delivery of staff entitlements.
Only 10 to 12 staff will stay on to help maintain the aircraft until they can be sold. More than 60 of the axed staff are based in Canberra.
Staff were told their position in meetings on Monday morning, exactly one week after they had been temporarily stood down after the company went into receivership.
KordaMentha receiver Sebastian Hams. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Employees were resigned as they left the Brindabella offices at Canberra Airport. Asked how he felt, one former employee replied, ''How can you be sad about something you've seen coming for the last week?''
Another worker yelled out, ''Merry Christmas!''
Former engineer with Brindabella Airlines Kaman Sit said it was difficult to lose your job so close to Christmas, but he had been prepared for it.
''We all knew it was happening from the last meeting already,'' he said.
When asked if he knew where the owners were, the 33-year-old said he had no idea. ''I want to know too,'' he said.
KordaMentha receiver Sebastian Hams said it would have been unfair to staff to leave the announcement until after Christmas.
''The one thing you can't do in these circumstances is have employees with uncertainty. It's just unfair,'' he said.
In an email to staff, Brindabella Airlines' CEO said the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's choice to ground the fleet and the NSW government revoking route licences were major factors in the company's decision.
Ms Gallagher said she had written to the CEOs of Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin to ask them to consider hiring Brindabella Airlines' staff.
''It is terrible for anyone to lose their job like this, and particularly for so many to be affected this close to Christmas,'' she said.
Ms Gallagher also said she had written to KordaMentha to request that workers' entitlements are delivered as soon as possible.
It could take up to three months for staff to receive their entitlements, and Mr Hams confirmed that, even then, there won't be enough assets to completely reimburse employees.
He said that although there had been early interest in buying the airline, it had not been enough to resurrect Brindabella. It was now
very unlikely a buyer would be found.
''We will try and sell the airline [but] it is unlikely at the moment, given the regulated routes are no longer in place,'' he said.
Former owner of Brindabella Airlines Lara Corry-Boyd said she and her husband, Jeff Boyd, felt sad for the staff. ''Jeff's done his best to find other positions for as many of them as we can,'' she said.
A spokesman for the Transport Workers Union of NSW said the union hoped the company would do everything it could to get employees back on their feet.
''Losing your job is tough on employees and their families, especially when they live in rural and regional areas. It's even worse when it's this close to Christmas,'' he said.
At least one other Canberra business has offered help, with Rolfe Subaru dealer principal Greg Newman contacting the airline's receiver about two positions available.
''We're a locally owned company and I try to help locals whenever possible,'' he said.
KordaMentha also said it would be helping out as much as it could.
''We've got friends in the industry who've already reached out to us to offer assistance,'' Sebastian Hams said.