Qantas Airways, Australia’s flagship airline, has strongly denied allegations brought forth by the country’s competition regulator regarding the alleged misleading of passengers by continuing to sell tickets for flights that the airline had already decided to cancel.
In a bold move to counter the watchdog’s lawsuit, Qantas issued a statement on Monday, asserting that the regulator’s case failed to account for the harsh realities of the aviation industry. The airline adamantly stated that it did not delay informing passengers about the cancellations for financial gain and ensured that all customers affected by scrapped flights were provided with an alternative flight or a full refund.
This legal battle began when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed a lawsuit against Qantas in late August, accusing the company of selling tickets for over 8,000 flights that had been canceled between May and July 2022. The ACCC is pursuing a historic penalty of more than A$250 million (S$217 million).
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Qantas responded to the allegations by saying, “The ACCC’s case ignores a fundamental reality and a key condition that applies when airlines sell a ticket.” Qantas’ defense sets the stage for a potentially lengthy legal dispute over the accusations of “ghost flights,” which played a significant role in the early retirement of the airline’s then-CEO, Alan Joyce, and prompted a reshuffling of the board to restore the airline’s tarnished reputation.
Among a series of scandals that have cast a shadow over Qantas in recent times, the allegations of deceit by the regulator stand out as one of the most damaging blows to the airline’s brand and reputation.
Source: Straits Time