Australian airline blames carbon tax for axing flights

Australia's Brindabella Airlines Pty Ltd, a regional airline operator affiliated to Qantas said that it will cancel two of its regular routes in favour of more profitable chartered flights to resource-rich areas, and blamed the government's new carbon tax as a major factor for the decision.

''From the 8 June we shall stop the daily Brisbane to Armidale and Canberra to Albury services and make these aircraft available for charter,'' the Group's chief operating officer Ian Vanderbeek said in a statement.

The federal government's introduction of carbon tax and removal of the en-route rebate scheme commencing 1 July, were major factors in the airline's decision for stopping the flights, Vanderbeek further said.

The rebate scheme provided a discount to carriers operating in some regional routes. Moreover, there has been a significant drop in passenger traffic between Canberra Albury, the statement said.

Canberra-based Brindabella owns a fleet of two 30-seater BAE Jetstream41 aircraft and five 18-seater Metroliner III aircraft. Brindabella's aircraft are strategically located in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney and can fly at short notice to chartered locations.

Brindabella merged with Newcastle-headquartered regional operator  Aeropelican Air Services Pty Ltd in September 2011. Aeropelican operates a fleet of five BAE Jetstream41 aircraft.