Why hasn’t Singapore Airlines followed Qantas in announcing a compo payment from Airbus for the A380 delay? Because it’s still being revised upwards.
Which makes one wonder if Qantas’s $104 million liquidated damages “profit” was settled too soon. The Roo has warned that the latest A380 delays won’t result in another big “payment”.
At Singapore’s analyst briefing, the airline’s lowly-paid CEO was asked how much compensation SIA would get over the A380 and whether “this is going to be an amount that you’re going to get back or is it an amount which is going to go towards purchases of the A380s as you buy them or other planes”. Mr Chew:
I’m afraid we will have to decline giving any specific numbers at this juncture because we have an ongoing dialogue with Airbus on reviewing the numbers that has been made appropriate because of the latest round of delays.
Where we last arrived at an agreed number with them, it was predicated on our getting aircraft number one by this December. Now that it has slipped by ten months, we are reopening the conversation with them.
So until we nail all that down and, dare I say, until we take delivery of aircraft number one, we prefer to leave it as something behind closed doors, but you can be sure that we will be driving hard for a fair settlement.
He was also asked if he was confident SIA would receive its first A380 in October – a question that he didn’t quite answer. Chew did say he was confident the plane would be delivered, but there remained the question of when.
Meanwhile an intriguing rumour reaches our ears about Flight Centre preparing for a much harder fight with airlines in general and Qantas in particular over the lack of commission payments on fuel surcharges.
It’s been suggested Flight Centre is looking at possible legal action over the many millions involved – what could be a long hard and expensive fight that is more easily conducted by a private company than a publicly listed one. Just ask Kerry Stokes.
With no public formula for what’s a fuel surcharge and what’s just a ticket price increase by another name, it could be argued Qantas has done nicely out of a system that extracts money from frequent flyers but denies commission to travel agents.
Our inquiry to Flight Centre CEO Screw Turner was working its way through a crowded schedule when Crikey’s deadline hit.