Gill Airways, the Newcastle-based airline which operates flights between Aberdeen and Newcastle and Norwich, has gone into liquidation.

The Bank of Scotland (BoS) withdrew facilities from the 32-year-old airline, ironically in the wake of its best ever passenger figures.

Gill's other destinations were Belfast, Dublin, London, Guernsey, Jersey, and Paris and it operated a wide range of other passenger and freight charters, particularly in support of the

offshore oil and gas industry. Around 25,000 of the 38,000 passengers carried monthly were on scheduled flights.

Gill's fleet comprises three Fokker 100 jets, three ATR 72 and three ATR 42 regional airliners.

''We regret to confirm that Bank of Scotland has been obliged to withdraw banking facilities from Gill Aviation,'' a spokesman said.The company, which has been a customer of the bank for some years, has been in a loss-making position and under financial constraint for some time.''

The bank said it had tried to support Gill through difficult times and the company was given a chance last month to present fresh proposals with regard to its ''worsening financial position''.

''Despite these proposals, sadly, the financial position of the company could no longer be supported by us,'' the spokesman said.

However the pilots union, BALPA (British Airline Pilots' Association), condemned the liquidation as ''outrageous''.

Christopher Darke, BALPA general secretary, said Gill

Airways was the first victim of the problems besetting UK airlines since the New York disaster.

''We are convinced this was a viable company, which has just turned in its best ever passenger figures, and which has no overdraft.

''Management, the 92 pilots and other employees pulled together over the last year to

turn around the company and now they have been kicked in

the teeth by the Bank of

Scotland, who have simply panicked over the general problems in the industry caused by the hijacking and all that followed, said Darke''

Malcolm Naylor, Gill chief executive, said the board was shocked at the decision by the Bank of Scotland, claiming that the airline had enjoyed a period of profitable trading since it was re-financed earlier this year.

Naylor believed it could withstand the current uncertainty caused by the terrorist attacks in the US.

He said a major blow was suffered this week with ''swingeing'' increases in insurance premiums, which had added around (pounds) 340,000 to Gill's costs.