Partial refund "better than nothing": AFTA

Partial refund "better than nothing": AFTA
By admin

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has described a 21.88% refund for travel agents following the collapse of Air Australia as “better than nothing”.

Retailers were told yesterday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) there was not enough cash to cover all refund claims lodged and approved by the airline.

It means almost 80% will not be repaid to agents, and ultimately to consumers, who were left stranded after the airline folded in February with debts of between $80 million and $90 million.

While some retailers will be disappointed at the amount of refunded cash, AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said it was not an unexpected outcome.

“I am pleased the issue has been resolved and 21.88% is better than nothing,” he told Travel Today.  

A memo to agents from IATA confirmed the funds withheld “are not sufficient to cover all of the refunds that have approved by Air Australia”.

“Therefore IATA will have to prorate the total refunds against the total amount withheld, which means that you will received 21.88% of the total refund approved by the airline,” it told agents.

Refunds “are final”, IATA stressed, and will be automatically included in the billing cycle for July 30 to August 5.
Refunds rejected by Air Australia will not be processed, with IATA directing any agents with queries to the airline’s administrator, KordaMentha.

That agents will receive anything had been in doubt following a dispute between the administrators and IATA (Travel Today, May 31).

Complexities surrounding data meant KordaMentha were unsure about what portion of the money held by IATA belonged to agents and were reluctant to pay out.

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