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Qantas cries foul on NZ passenger levy

written by WOFA | November 5, 2009

The Qantas Group has spoken out against plans by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority to impose passenger safety charges on Jetstar’s domestic New Zealand services.

Under changes to legislation proposed by the New Zealand government, the NZCAA would be able to impose a levy on services operated within New Zealand by airlines operating on an Australian air operator’s certificate. Qantas says that this runs counter to the previous workings set out in the Australia New Zealand Aviation Mutual Recognition Principle.

“We are opposed to the change in the regulations based on the principle that we believe the intent of the existing regulations was to offer carriers in both countries an operating environment where they were regulated by a single safety regulator and not both, which also includes paying all fees and charges to the regulatory authority of which they are governed by,” said Qantas executive government and corporate affairs David Epstein. “We believe that the changes proposed by the New Zealand government will result in commercial inequities, and have adverse implications for both New Zealand and Australian operators seeking to invest in either market in the future.”

Epstein said the proposed changes, to take effect from December 4, would mean that Jetstar would have to pay the New Zealand government an additional NZD $1.66 per passenger (including GST), per domestic New Zealand sector.

Jetstar is currently the only carrier operating domestic services in New Zealand on an Australian AOC, as Pacific Blue’s domestic services operate on a New Zealand AOC. Jetstar has previously said that it expects to secure a New Zealand AOC in the  future, under which the domestic services and some trans-Tasman operations would be conducted.


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