Judge rejects Air NZ demand for $400K

Judge rejects Air NZ demand for $400K
By admin

A Federal Court judge has ruled that additional financial security must be provided for Air New Zealand as they prepare to fight travel agents in the fuel surcharge class action.

But the order of $120,000 in funding was well below the near-$400,000 requested by the carrier.

Lawyers acting for the airline argued that in addition to security of $150,000 previously guaranteed, a further $391,040 be stumped up by the applicants before the case should proceed.

Air NZ estimated that its legal costs would include $106,610 for a seven day hearing, $63,450 for the finalisation of evidence, $67,680 for various other legal tasks, $104,000 for the employment of a junior and senior counsel, $16,000 for the “databasing of documents” and $30,000 for photocopying, transcript and sundry items.

In a 44-paragraph ruling, Judge Robertson said the amount requested was disproportionate to the estimated $35,000 to $40,000 in commission on fuel levies being disputed.

“It [Air New Zealand] is of course quite entitled to outlay those amounts but the present question is whether as a matter of judicial discretion security should be ordered to reflect that expenditure,” Judge Roberton said in his judgement. “I have concluded that it should not.”

He ordered additional security of $120,000.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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