01 January 2009

Failed Airline in Trouble Again

Air New Zealand is being prosecuted by the Commerce Commission for anti-competitive behaviour. The Commission alleges that the airline conspired with other airlines to fix prices.

Twelve other airlines that service New Zealand are also being prosecuted.

The action came as no surprise. Qantas paid a $75 million fine in the US and lifted its contingency provisions for any further fines from $57m to $135m. A Qantas executive went to jail in the US.

So, how much has Air New Zealand put aside? Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said earlier this year, "We haven't set any figure aside at this stage, clearly there's an investigation going on - we have been named as a party of interest but there's nothing at this stage that allows us to identify a potential financial cost associated with that investigation."

Back in 2002, when the government decided to bail out the failed airline, we said, "Miss Clark and Dr Cullen have sent a message to the management of Air New Zealand: this airline will not be allowed to fail. Management is secure in the knowledge that there will always be another billion where the last one came from."