View Full Version : Secret deal over Ansett

10th Feb 2003, 19:06
By Geoff Easdown
February 11, 2003

AIR New Zealand has secretly settled a million dollar claim brought by a chemicals giant over the collapse of Ansett.

Orica bypassed the Ansett liquidators and sued the kiwi carrier directly, claiming it failed to fulfill a deal to provide discounted air travel.

Legal and corporate experts said the case was unique, with Orica suing the parent company for debts alleged against its defunct Australian arm.

It is understood that Orica agreed to settle for less than $1 million with the amount of damages and costs unknown.

Neither Orica nor its legal team would comment on the deal, sealed on the steps of the Victorian Supreme Court in November 6 last year.

The settlement ended eight months of torrid legal argument and enabled Orica to avoid standing in line with Ansett creditors.

Ansett joint administrator Mark Mentha was not aware of the Orica claim.

He said Orica "obviously succeeded" because it had a contract with Air NZ.

Lawyers for Orica argued that Ansett Australia was, until it collapsed on September 14, 2001, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air New Zealand.

Court documents they lodged alleged that, until Ansett was grounded, the carrier was at all times directed, controlled, and managed by Air New Zealand.

Orica's lawyers argued that under a deal struck in March 2001, Orica was to get a series of discounts on business and full economy air fares, with rebates from the discounts to have been set against Orica's domestic travel in Australia and NZ, with some provisions extending until March this year.

In lodging its claim for $1,150,710 for loss and damages, Orica argued that, from September 2001 Orica was not able to purchase Ansett tickets under the rebate scheme.

It was also claimed that Air NZ had failed to pay discounted fare rebates amounting to $369,280 from July 2001, a period when Air NZ was to have a "billion dollars to call on," according to claims former CEO Gary Toomey made to Sydney's Aviation Press Club on June 10, that year.

"During the period September 13 and December 15 2001, Orica paid substantially more for the price of domestic travel airline tickets," the chemical and explosives group's lawyers argued.

They further argued that Orica was unable during the same period to apply any part of a $570,000 rebate pool or a $175,000 further rebate pool.

Orica's lawyers argued that: "As at September 12, 2001, Orica had not chosen to use any part of the rebate pool or the additional rebate pool.

"Had Orica been able to purchase Ansett Australia airline tickets under the Air NZ agreement during the period September 13 to December 15, 2001, Orica would have applied the amount . . . against the price otherwise applicable to such Ansett Australia tickets."

The Daily Telegraph

Buster Hyman
11th Feb 2003, 00:34
Well, all of us Ansett refugees had a contract of employment with Air New Zealand, didn't we?

Let's sue them back to the Stone Age!!!:mad:

Interesting how one of the two clowns are trying to deflect the impending criticism of their handling, by saying Orica had an agreement directly with ANZ...interesting.

11th Feb 2003, 03:08
Just to digress a little if I may, a former Ansett/ East-West F/A still has an ongoing case against Ansett( or the administrators) because of her illness contracted on the Bae146 due to Mobil Jet2 fume inhalation. Any news/updates as to where her case stands at the moment?