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Airlines come under pressure to pay commission on fuel surcharge

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Media Release

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National law firm Slater and Gordon has welcomed the decision by Qantas to pay travel agent commissions on fuel surcharges saying it would place increased pressure on other international carriers to fall into line.

The decision by Qantas, which was announced early this week, follows a six-year battle by travel agents to force international airlines to include the controversial fuel surcharge when calculating the commissions they owe agents who sell tickets.

Mr Steven Lewis, from Slater and Gordon, who has success fully run the class action on behalf of travel agents, says the move by Qantas sends a clear message to the rest of the international airline industry.

“Our legal efforts will now be focused on the other international airlines including Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airlines and Singapore Airlines, which are part of this class action,” Mr Lewis said.

“We will now double our efforts to ensure these other airlines also start to pay full commissions to travel agents without the need for further and costly court hearings.

“The Qantas decision leaves no place for the other airlines to hide,” Mr Lewis said.

In September last year Qantas lost a High Court application to overturn an earlier court ruling that the airline had failed to include fuel surcharges when calculating the commission paid to agents on international ticket sales.