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Commission appeals Air NZ fare advertising ruling

Media Release


Issued 9 January 2006/086


Commission appeals Air New Zealand fare advertising ruling

The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the Auckland High Court in relation to Air New Zealand’s advertising of fares.

The District Court found last month that Air New Zealand had breached the Fair Trading Act with its advertising. Of 20 sample charges laid by the Commerce Commission against Air New Zealand, the Court found last month that 14 had been proved.

However, Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said the Commission was pursuing an appeal to clarify aspects of the ruling.

“This case has wide-reaching implications for advertising in New Zealand,” Ms Rebstock said.

“The Commission believes its appeal will result in a clearer line being drawn for advertisers.”

Ms Rebstock said the Commission would not be commenting further while the appeal was before the Court.

Background

On 24 November, the District Court found that, of 20 sample charges laid by the Commerce Commission against Air New Zealand for alleged breaches of the Fair Trading Act, 14 had been proved. The 20 sample charges were drawn from a total of 342 charges to be resolved in the case.

The District Court found that in some advertisements the price was misleading because extra charges were not properly disclosed; in others, normal operating costs that should have been included in the price were disguised as extra charges. The Court found that fuel costs are part of the airline’s operating costs and must be included in the price of airfares.

ENDS

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