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Virgin Blue Welcomes Federal Court Decision

18/10/2006

Virgin Blue welcomed today's decision by the Federal Court to uphold the decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) in December 2005 to declare the domestic airside service at Sydney Airport under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act (TPA).


In what is a landmark decision, the declaration now allows negotiations between airlines and
Sydney Airport Corporation Limited to occur with the safety net of the ACCC as independent arbitrator, should dispute resolution be required.


Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “Today’s decision is simply logical and encourages airlines and airports to seek mutually acceptable outcomes. Importantly it upholds fundamental economic principles and thereby restores Economics 101.


“In pursuing this outcome for four years, we were never motivated by any other principle than the right to conduct commercial negotiations with the ability to refer to an independent arbitrator, should either party act unreasonably,” he said.


“We simply believe that in any industry, it is not acceptable for a monopoly supplier to be able to unilaterally impose increased fees, without appropriate negotiation.


“This was a case about our experience of pricing behaviour in the past. We are very happy in the new environment and we look forward to continuing to work with Sydney and other airports to seek win-win outcomes for both sides,” he finished.