Confusion delays Air Australia refunds

Confusion delays Air Australia refunds
By admin

A dispute between administrators of Air Australia and the International Air Transport Association is threatening to derail the promised payment of refunds to frustrated travel agents following the collapse of the airline, Travel Today has learned.

The two parties agreed in March that retailers would receive at least a partial refund from cash held by IATA in BSP for sectors which never took to the air.

Agents had until April 6 to lodge refund requests.

But almost two months on, retailers are still waiting.

Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury urged the parties to “hurry up”.

IATA blamed Air Australia administrators Kordamentha for the delay.

“Following the conclusion of a refunds agreement with the administrator of Air Australia on 21 April 2012, IATA has provided the administrator with the applicable billing information and refund applications as required under the agreement,” a spokesman told Travel Today in an emailed statement. “Nonetheless, the administrator has raised some concerns regarding the refunds. Discussions with the administrator on this is ongoing.”

IATA declined to comment on the specifics of the concerns while Kordamentha was unavailable at time of going to press.

The issue appears to surround lost data which was held in Air Australia systems – systems which no longer exist. Despite receiving information from IATA, administrators are believed to be unsure about what portion of the money held by IATA belongs to agents and are reluctant to pay out.

AFTA has also been in dialogue with Kordamentha.

“AFTA would very much like IATA and administrators to expedite the refunds as soon as practicable for the sake of the consumers impacted by the dreadful collapse of Air Australia,” Westbury said. “A lot of people have been left hanging. Whether they receive five cents in the dollar, 20c or $1, agents need to give some clarity to their consumers.”

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