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Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group

Key Australian Aviation Policy Developments: The Ansett Airlines Context 1937–2001 Chronology

as at 20 Dec 2001 only

This Chronology is issued electronically. It will be kept up-to-date online. The date of the latest update is noted clearly above.

All enquiries: John Kain, Director, ECIR Group and Richard Webb, Research Specialist, ECIR Group.

Ansett Chronology continued December -

31 October 2001 Administrator, Mr Mark Corda, tells creditors that each bid has strengths and that he would like to combine them. But Mr Fox and Mr Lew have baulked at that prospect. Federal government officials examine the administrator's proposal that the Government subordinate its claim to be repaid the $195 million loan from Ansett assets but say that the proposal lacks detail. 'Doubts fly about Ansett Mk II', Australian Financial Review, 2 November 2001, p. 5.
30 October 2001 A press report claims that the administrators have asked the Government to subordinate its claim to be repaid the $195 million loan from Ansett assets, to the claims of unsecured creditors. The report states that the administrators believe that a payment to unsecured creditors is necessary to ensure support for a new airline. 'Ansett push on $195m federal loan', Australian Financial Review, 31 October 2001, p. 3.
29 October 2001 Federal Court Justice, Alan Goldberg, calls on the Government to clarify the "ambiguous nature" of its $195 million offer to fund Ansett redundancies. 'Deal to save Ansett in the wings', Australian Financial Review, 30 October 2001, p. 3.
28 October 2001 Qantas announces that it had selected Boeing 737-800 aircraft to add capacity to its Australian operations. Qantas CEO, Mr Geoff Dixon, says agreement has been reached for an initial order of 15 aircraft. Options had been taken on another 60 aircraft to replace progressively existing 737-300 and 737-400 aircraft and to provide for growth. The first aircraft would be in service in January 2001. The remainder of the first 15 aircraft would be progressively introduced between February and July 2002. 'Qantas Buys Boeing 737-800s', Qantas media release, 28 0ctober 2001.
26 October 2001 A press report claims that the administrator rejected the Fox-Lew bid for Ansett outright. The report claims that the bid entails considerable government assistance including a $350 million cash injection funded by the ticket levy from the Federal government. The bid also seeks $150 million and tax concessions from the Victorian Government.

Diners Club and Westpac, previously partners in Ansett's frequent flyers scheme, sign frequent flyer agreements with Qantas, further reducing Ansett's prospects.

'Fox, Lew's secret $50m Ansett plan', Australian Financial Review, 26 October 2001, pp.1 and 55.

'New deal on cards for flyer points', Australian Financial Review, 25 October 2001, p. 3.

25 October 2001 The Government agrees to underwrite the resumption of Ansett services to Adelaide and Hobart at a possible cost of $150,000 a week. Under the terms of an agreement with the administrator, if Ansett fails to achieve load factors of about 60 per cent on the Adelaide routes and 62 per cent on the Hobart routes from 2 November, the Government will cover 80 per cent of the operating costs with the administrator liable for the remaining 20 per cent. Any funding is to be paid from the Rapid Route Recovery fund, and the Government will not seek to recover it from Ansett assets. The agreement is to remain in place until 31 January 2001.The Government also tells Virgin Blue it would provide similar assistance for Virgin on the Adelaide and Launcestion routes. But Virgin's CEO, Mr Brett Godfrey, says that he does not believe that subsidies should be given to airlines. Instead, Virgin would prefer to see competition laws strengthened to provide protection against Qantas. 'Subsidy promise for Ansett routes', Australian Financial Review, 26 October 2001, p. 3.
24 October 2001 A senior official of the Department of Workplace Relations sends a letter to the administrators' lawyers stating that the Government expects the administrators to sell assets to repay any money the Government extends to pay redundant workers' entitlements. 'Deal to save Ansett in the wings', Australian Financial Review, 30 October 2001, p. 3.
23 October 2001 Singapore Airlines confirms that it has agreed to a consultancy role to help the administrators develop a plan to resurrect Ansett. Qantas CEO, Mr Geoff Dixon, criticises the Fox-Lew bid for assistance. ANstaff says that it too has sought government assistance but was not asking for anything that would not be given to other airlines. ANstaff would ask State governments for a payroll tax holiday and would seek greater protection from anti-competitive behaviour by Qantas.

Lawyers for Hazelton Airlines administrators tell the Federal Court that they want $7.5 million, rather than the $150,000 offered, of the $150 million cash payment that AirNZ made to the Ansett administrators. The latter seek clarification from the Federal Government of the terms under which it will provide cash to fund staff entitlements.

'Singapore enters at ground level', Australian Financial Review, 23 October 2001, p. 3.

'Hazelton argues for more funds', Australian Financial Review, 24 October 2001, p. 3.

22 October 2001 A press report claims that the Fox-Lew consortium has submitted a 12 point proposal for Federal Government support. A spokesman for Federal Transport Minister, Hon John Anderson, says that the Government wants a thorough examination of all proposals before committing to any assistance. 'Fox, Lew call for help on Ansett', Australian Financial Review, 22 October 2001, pp. 1 and 18.
20-21 October 2001 A press report claims that Singapore Airlines is a potential buyer of Ansett. The other two bidders are the Fox-Lew consortium and an Ansett staff consortium (ANstaff) led by former managing director, Mr Graeme McMahon and aviation consultant, Mr Michael Jones. An unknown fourth "mystery bidder" is waiting in the wings. 'Dixon demonstrates he's top dog in this flyoff'', Australian Financial Review, 20-21 October 2001, pp. 12 and 72.
19 October 2001 Mr Solomon Lew and Mr Lindsay Fox reveal a $2.5 billion plan to introduce 29 new Airbuses on all major capital city and some leisure routes. Under the plan, four thousand staff will be required, and the headquarters will be in Melbourne. The plan proposes economy, business and premium classes, as well as a loyalty program. Mr Fox says he is interested in exploring the involvement of Singapore Airlines, but the bid is not dependent on Singapore Airlines, with alternative management plans in place. Mr Fox says he expects to reach an agreement with Ansett's administrators in the next two weeks.

Rival bidder, ANstaff, dismisses the plan as a public relations stunt and criticises the Federal Transport Minister, Hon John Anderson, for appearing to support the Fox-Lew syndicate over other bids. ANstaff's Michael Jones says his syndicate's proposal is much more advanced than the Fox-Lew bid.

Mr Jones of the ANstaff consortium says that his group would make a formal offer to the administrator in about 10 days. The model would be built around between 29 and 45 aircraft with a key plank being to win back business customers. The group would fly to all capital cities and major cities such as Cairns. The model would use the existing fleet which would be modernised. The model would be funded initially by about 70 per cent equity and 30 per cent debt. Capital requirements would be in the order of $500 million. The workforce would be between 6,000 and 8,000 with a wages bill of $400 million to $450 million.

Ansett's administrator issues first compulsory redundancies to 340 call centre staff at Darlinghurst in Sydney.

The administrator announces the sale of of Ansett subsidiary, Show Group, to Avis Services for an undisclosed sum.

The ACCC says that it will watch where Qantas puts 15 new all-economy class aircraft and their effect on the market. The ACCC would also monitor Qantas's air far discunting

ABC internet news, 19 October 2001.

'Anderson: fly in ointment', Australian Financial Review, 20-21 October 2001, p. 7.

'Fox, Lew make big pitch for Ansett', Australian Financial Review, 20-21 October 2001, p. 3.

18 October

2001

Qantas announces that it will buy 17 new aircraft at a cost of $1.5 billion, and raise $300 million equity to partly finance the acquisition. The expansion will provide permanent additional capacity and enhance services for domestic travel, including to regional destinations. British Airways, which owns 25 per cent of Qantas, will not participate in the the fund raising, diluting its equity to 22 per cent. The 15 new jets will be all-economy class, and Qantas will undertake a $100 million reconfiguration of 25 existing jets to all-economy class. The plan will give Qantas 65 to 70 per cent of domestic capacity. Qantas says that it will pursue cost concessions from unions. Qantas will put one million discount airfares on to the market over the next two months. Queensland will get up to 40 per cent of the discounted fares to boost tourism in that State.

The opposition leader, Mr Kim Beazley, says that a Labor government would not take over Ansett's debt or the airline to get it back up and flying.

Virgin Blue says that it will begin flights between Melbourne and Launceston three weeks ahead of schedule, from November 8, because of "overwhelming public demand".

'Qantas to purchase 17 new aircraft and revamp domestic operations', Qantas media release, 18 October 2001.

'Qantas's $1.5 bn bid to rule skies', Australian Financial Review, pp. 1 and 58.

'Labor would not take over debt to keep Ansett flying', AAP,18 October 2001.

'Virgin Blue to launch Launceston-Melb service early', AAP, 18 October 2001.

17 October

2001

Virgin Blue announces that it intends to increase the size of its fleet to 15 jets by Christmas.

The administrator posts offers of redundancy offers to 11,000 staff.

'Sky's the limit for rivals',Australian Financial Review, 18 October 2001, p. 3.

'Ansett offers', Canberra Times, 18 October 2001, p. 6

16 October

2001

The Government agrees to provide an advance of $195 million to the administrator to fund voluntary redundancies.

ACTU secretary, Mr Greg Combet, says that the Government should recoup any money paid to staff through the ticket levy rather than through the realisation of Ansett's assets.

'8,000 Ansett workers may opt for redundancy', Australian Financial Review, 17 October 2001, p. 21.
15 October

2001

The administrator and the Government agree to split the $150 million from AirNZ. $50 million is be used to fund employee entitlements and $100 million as working capital. The Government also agrees to provide an upfront payment, estimated to be $195 million, to fund the first round of voluntary redundancies. The Government also agrees to extend the ticket guarantee to 31 January 2002. 'Ansett's $100m breather', Australian Financial Review, 16 October 2001, pp.1 and 9.
11 October

2001

The Federal Court ratifies an agreement for AirNZ to provide $150 million to Ansett, and says that it is up to the administrator to decide how to use the funds. 'AirNZ cash will keep Ansett flying', Australian Financial Review, 13-14 October 2001, p.3.
10 October

2001

Ansett's administrator is reported as warning that it is unlikely that overseas airlines will commit to taking a position on Ansett without some indication of support from the Commonwealth. Other key elements the administrator sees as essential to a long-term, viable future for Ansett include:
  • a fresh capital injection
  • participation of a major airline
  • reduction in staff numbers commensurate with a 20% market share
  • reinstatement of Ansett's Star Alliance participation
  • if possible, recognition of frequent flyers, and
  • ongoing interline relationship with Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines

The Minister for Employment, Hon. Tony Abbott, says that stand down orders covering most Ansett workers provide discretionary powers allowing the Ansett administrator to ensure that employees wishing to resign, remain eligible for all their entitlements, including severance benefits (pay in lieu of notice and redundancy).

The administrator calls for a government cash advance to fund employee redundancy repayments. The administrator is reported as baulking at Government requests to use a $150 million payment from AirNZ to pay employee entitlements. Instead, the administrator indicates a preference to use the funds to keep Ansett in business.

"Ansett rebirth hinges on Government". The Australian Financial Review, 10 October 2001, pp. 1

'Administrator can ensure that Ansett Workers who resign will be eligible for their entitlements', media release, 10 October 2001.

'Ansett push for government loan', Australian Financial Review, 11 October 2001, p. 1.

10 October

2001

Adminstrator indicates that he hopes to reach agreement with Singapore Airlines re its involvement in developing a plan for Ansett this week. "Ansett rebirth hinges on Government", Australian Financial Review, 10 October 2001, p. 18
9 October

2001

Federal Court Justice, Alan Goldberg, releases a letter from Transport Minister, Hon John Anderson, indicating that the $10 air ticket levy would apply only after a proposed $150 million cash injection by Air NZ had been used up in paying workers' entitlements. "Aust gov wants $150 million used for workers entitlements, court." AP Newsline, 10 October 2001.
9 October

2001

Opposition Transport spokesman, Mr Martin Ferguson MP states that Minister Anderson had lobbied the NZ Government to close off the "Singapore option" which was seen as interfering with the grand plan for Qantas despite the risks for Ansett and its operations "Anderson invites Singapore to grab Ansett", The Canberra Times, 10 October 2001, p. 5
9 October 2001 The leader of the opposition, Hon Kim Beazley, says that a Labor government would lend or inject equity of about $150 million to $200 million into Ansett. Mr Beazley also says that a working Ansett would add $300-$400 million to the sale value of Sydney airport. 'Working Ansett would add $300-$400 million to Sydney airport', AAP, 9 October 2001.
9 October

2001

Victorian Premier, Hon Steve Bracks visits Singapore to meet with SIA's CEO, Dr Cheong Choong Kong. Possible Victorian Government incentives to SIA mooted "Ansett rebirth hinges on Government", The Australian Financial Review 10 October 2001, pp. 18
8 October 2001 The National Australia Bank reaches an agreement with the administrator whereby passengers who had pre-paid for fares using credit cards would be able to travel on Ansett. 'Credit card customers get Ansett flights', AAP, 8 October 2001.
6-7 October 2001 In a joint statement with SIA, the administrator says that the administrator may engage SIA to develop a business plan for Ansett, and provide management and equity at a future date. Mr Mark Mentha says that there are another five potential buyers of Ansett.

The Prime Minister, Hon. John Howard, says that the Federal government would not stand in the way of a SIA buyout of Ansett.

The National Australia Bank reaches agreement with the administrator whereby passengers who had pre-paid for fares using credit cards would be able to travel on Ansett. Mr Mark Korda says that the deal will reduce disruption for Ansett customers and reduce Ansett's liabilities.

Federal Transport Minister, Hon. John Anderson, rejects a claim by the chairman of Air NZ, Dr Jim Farmer, that the Mr Anderson initially supported a plan to keep Ansett flying for a month.

The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Professor Alan Fels, says that the ACCC is investigating complaints about anti-competitive behaviour by Qantas that were raised by the administrator.

On 7 October, Federal Transport Minister, Hon John Anderson, writes to the administrators stating that money raised by the levy on airline tickets should be used as a last resort, after Ansett assets are sold.

'Singapore Airlines asked to take management, equity in Ansett II', AAP, 7 October 2001.

'Singapore interest in Ansett welcome - Howard', AAP, 7 October 2001.

'Credit card customers get Ansett flights', AAP, 8 October 2001.

'Air NZ challenges Canberra on Ansett, Australian Financial Review, 8 October 2001, pp. 1 and 8.

'Singapore examines Mark II role", Australian Financial Review, 8 October 2001, p. 8.

'Ansett at mercy of Government', Australian Financial Review,27-28 October 2001.

5 October 2001 The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Hon. Joe Hockey, eases price controls on aeronautical and aeronautical-related services at major city and regional airports to allow them to recoup revenue lost because of the Ansett crisis and the fall in international air travel.

Virgin Blue CEO, Mr Brett Godfrey, says that if a buyer is not found for Ansett, Virgin would be "happy to have a look at it".

'Prices oversight arrangements at airports', press release FSR/081, 5 October 2001.

'Singapore in Ansett talks', Australian Financial Review, October 6-7, p. 10.

4 October 2001 The Federal Transport Minister, Hon. John Anderson, announces a grant of $750,000 to Kendell Airlines to allow it to resume flights in NSW and Victoria. The grant will be drawn from the Rapid Route Recovery Scheme.The resumed flights will be on a three-month trial basis.

Federal Transport Minister, Hon. John Anderson, says that the New Zealand government rescue package for Air NZ means that the ticket levy might not have to continue "for as long as otherwise would have been the case".

Andersen administrator, Mr Mark Mentha, says that the moves by Qantas to move capacity back into Australia has hurt Ansett Mark II by making it very difficult for Ansett Mark II to attract passengers and so achieve the load factors it wants.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating whether Qantas engaged in predatory pricing by introducing an $88 one-way fare between Sydney and Melbourne after Ansett resumed operations with a $99 introductory offer. Qantas denies that it is profiteering.

Reports suggest that SIA wants staff cuts before commiting itself to taking over management of a new Ansett group, and that SIA is interested in taking equity in such a group.

'Kendell to fly again in NSW and Victoria', media release A170/2001, 4 October 2001.

'Rescue hopes rise as Kiwis bail out carrier', Australian Financial Review, 5 October 2001, pp. 1 and 8.

AAP: 'Qantas making it hard for Ansett, administrator', 4 October 2001.

'Qantas denies it preyed on chaos', Age, 5 October 2001, p. 2

'Singapore wants staff cuts deal', Age, 5 October 2001, p. 2

4 October 2001 The NZ Government and Air NZ announce a $NZ885 million recapitalisation of Air NZ. This will take the form of a $NZ300 million government loan and a $NZ585 million equity investment. The arrangement will leave the NZ government with an 83 per cent stake in the airline. The plan includes a settlement payment to the administrator of $A150 million which would release AirNZ from all claims relating to the Ansett group. The deal thus absolves Air NZ from liabilites stemming from its August letter of comfort. Ansett will also not have to repay a $32 million advance for wages. The plan also includes Air NZ relinquishing claims against Ansett of $A160 million for amounts that Ansett owes to Air NZ. The agreement between Air NZ and the administrator is subject to the approval of the Federal Court and the Ansett committee of creditors. Air NZ acting chairman, Dr Jim Farmer, says the airline has not walked away from its responsibilities at Ansett. "The agreement involves a settlement that effectively sees a further injection of $310 million Australian into the Ansett group by Air New Zealand. That's the $150 million that will be paid to them in settlement of all claims and the $160 million release of our claims against Ansett." Mr Farmer also says that Air NZ and SIA have agreed to lend management assistance in the restructuring of Ansett. NZ's Finance Minister, Dr Cullen, says that the Government does not see itself as a long-term shareholder in Air NZ.

Administrator, Mr Mark Mentha, says that he is inviting SIA to be involved in any Ansett Mark II. This involvement was part of the "compromise agreement" (see above) reached with Air NZ. Although a compromise, the package was attractive because it helped stabilise the Ansett group of companies. Mr Mentha also says that the package disentangles Air NZ from Ansett.

The plan comes after the failure of a proposal that Brierley Investments and SIA each inject $NZ150 million into Air NZ in addition to the NZ Governemnt loan of up to $NZ 550 million.

Virgin Blue CEO, Mr Brett Godfrey, says that the $150 million should be put in trust and offset against the funds raised by the ticket levy. He says that allowing the $150 million to be used as working capital amounted to a government subsidy of Ansett.

Administrators indicate that the $150 million would be kept by Ansett as as aset and wouldn't be used to pay workers entitlements.

Administrator, Mr Korda, says that the limited Ansett Mark II operation planned for the next three months would break even at best. The administrator also calls for expressions of interest in call centres in Melbourne, Launceston, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane by October 12.

The Federal Transport Minister, the Hon. John Anderson, is reported to be considering another bridging loan to Kendell to restart southern NSW services, although assistance depends on Kendell stemming losses on those routes.

'Recapitaisation', AAP, 4 October 2001.

'Ansett, Air NZ in $200 million settlement deal', AAP, 4 October 2001.

'New rescue package for Air NZ', Australian Financial Review, 4 October 2001, p. 3.

'Administrator inviting Singapore Airlines to take role in Ansett', AAP, 4 October 2001.

'Rescue hopes rise as Kiwis bail out carrier', Australian Financial Review, 5 October 2001, pp. 1 and 8.

'Cash injection boost to recovery efforts', Australian Financial Review, 5 October 2001, p. 8.

"Aust govt wants $150 million used for worker entitlements,court".

AAP newsline, 10 October 2001.

3 October 2001 The administrators say that bookings on Ansett flights had doubled in the past 24 hours and were almost on budget.

Kendell Airline staff told the regional carrier's financial position was worse than previously thought.

'Highlights of the AAP National Wire at 20:00', AAP, 3 October 2001
2 October 2001 Kendell Airlines to resume flights at Canberra airport on 4 October after the ACT Government confirms a $250,000 rescue package for the airline. This package is additional to the $250,000 grant to Hazelton Airlines. 'Airline Chaos: Kendell returns after 250,000 rescue', Canberra Times, 3 October 2001.
2 October 2001 Administrator, Mr Mark Mentha, says that he wants to maintain a relationship between Ansett and Air NZ covering areas such as fleet management and call centres.

Virgin Blue has promised to begin services to Hobart. The Prime Minister says that funds could be given to the tourism industry from the proceeds of the $10 ticket levy.

'Administrator wants Air NZ to retain some ties', Australian Financial Review, 3 October 2001, p. 6

'Cash crunch starts to bite for tourism', Australian Financial Review, 3 October 2001, p. 6

2 October 2001 The arrival of the first of three Air Canada Boeing 767s to bolster the Qantas fleet draws criticism from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). The 767s are to be used for flights between Australia and New Zealand and form part of a Qantas plan to create an extra 18,000 domestic seats. ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet, wants the Government to force Qantas to use Ansett planes and crew. But a Qantas spokesman says the deal is only temporary, and Australian crew members will be used within a few months. Ansett's administrators express fears that the deal by Qantas to lease the three Air Canada planes and their crews will harm efforts to revive Ansett fully.

Virgin Blue's, David Huttner, says that it wants to follow Qantas and bring in overseas planes and crew to cope with increased demand. Virgin Blue says the airline wants to lease Ansett jets and crew, but the administrators are unwilling to release them.

ABC internet news
1 October 2001 The Federal Transport Minister, Hon. John Anderson, says that potential new entrants interested in buying Ansett should buy Ansett as an operating airline rather than wait for liquidation. Mr Anderson also warns that starting a new airline would entail lengthy regulatory delays. He does not rule out extending the ticket underwriting agreeement but says that the administrator has not requested an extension.

Ansett says that it will return five more planes to the air on 8 October to begin services between Melbourne and Perth, Sydney and Perth, and Sydney and Brisbane.

'Don't hold back, buyers urged', Australian Financial Review, 2 October 2001, p. 4
30 September 2001 The administrators say that it will be difficult to sell Ansett in the current unsettled state of the international airline industry.

The administrators admit that the resumed services between Sydney and Melbourne over the weekend were unprofitable.

'Administrators cast cloud on the sale of Ansett', Australian Financial Review, 1 October 2001, pp. 1 and 7.
29-30 September 2001 Ansett Mark II operates its first flight, putting on 11 flights each way between Sydney and Melbourne. Ansett cancels two of 24 planned services because of insufficient passenger numbers.

Administrator, Mr Mark Mentha, says that the ACT Government has given a $250,000 grant to establish routes to Canberra from Melbourne and Sydney by the middle of next week.

Garuda International announces it has obtained temporary approval to carry passengers between Adelaide and Melbourne from 1 October.

'Return of the $99 Sydney to melbourne ticket', Australian Financial Review, 28 September 2001, p.12.

'Ansett's relaunch suffers poor passenger interest', Australian Financial Review, 29-30 September 2001, p. 9.

'Administrators cast cloud on the sale of Ansett', Australian Financial Review, 1 October 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

28 September 2001 The Victorian Government undertakes to take all flights on Ansett for the next 12 weeks.

The administrator says that a new company would be established to house the assets of Ansett Mark II to ensure the liabilities of the collapsed airline are quarantined. The administrator also says that a new domestic airline is likely to be based on a fleet of 20 A320s. Ansett International to be scrapped and its landing and route rights to be returned to a general pool for reallocation.

'Return to skies keeps resurrection hopes alive' Australian Financial Review, 28 September 2001, p.10.
28 September 2001 Trading in Air NZ's shares again suspended. 'Trading in Air NZ's shares suspended', Australian Financial Review, 29-30 September 2001, p.10.
28 September 2001 The Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Hon. John Anderson, announces that passengers on small regional airlines will be exempt from the $10 ticket levy. The exemption applies to purchasers who buy tickets to travel on aircraft with 16 or fewer seats. 'Air Passenger Ticket Levy', Media Release A165/2001, 28 September 2001.
27 September 2001 Seats on Ansett Mark II go on sale.

The administrator confirms that pre-sold tickets would not be honoured if the holders had not begun their journeys but expressed hope that "... we will be able to look after those customers when we're stablised".

'Return to skies keeps resurrection hopes alive' Australian Financial Review, 28 September 2001, p.10.
27 September 2001 Adminstrator says there were 'no (Ansett) redundancies on the table'. Ansett employees returning to work would retain the same wages and conditions but would be asked to show flexibility in work hours. 'Hundreds of tickets sold as Ansett flights resume', AAP newsline, 27 September 2001.
27 September 2001 South Australian Opposition Leader, Mr Mike Rann, announces he had written to the Federal Government and Ansett's administrator demanding an explanation as to why the returned Ansett flights would avoid Adelaide; former Ansett workers in Adelaide had been 'kicked in the guts' by Ansett, which would bypass the city when the planes returned to the skies. 'Adelaide Ansett workers missing out, says SA Opposition', AAP newsline, 27 September 2001.
27 September 2001 Tasmanian Government, angry that the State has missed out on resumed Ansett services, accuses Federal Transport Minister the Hon. John Anderson MP of determining the routes for political gain. 'Tasmania-Canberra war over Ansett flights', AAP newsline, 27 September 2001.
27 September 2001 The Labor Party proposes interest-free loans up to a total of $50 million to aid the tourist industry. 'Labor to offer free loans for tourist industry', Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 3.
26 September 2001 Executives at Airservices Australia agree to 5 per cent pay cut and all administrative staff asked to work a 9 day fortnight in wake of Ansett collapse; Ansett had accounted for 25 per cent of Airservices' annual turnover. 'Airservices chiefs agree top pay cut', The Canberra Times, 27 September 2001, p. 2.
26 September 2001 Ansett's entertainment subsidiary, Show Group, offered for sale by the administrator. 'Ansett planes set to fly again', The Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 14.
26 September 2001 The Federal Government agrees to underwrite newly purchased Ansett tickets. The Government will underwrite a 12 week, limited return to service of major Ansett domestic trunk route operations through an arrangement it has agreed to with the Ansett administrator. Under the arrangement, the Federal Government agrees to underwrite Ansett tickets for up to $25 million - with the Government's potential liability offset against Ansett's existing assets (estimated to be worth about $500 million). Criticised by Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley as a 'stingy measure'.

Eleven of Ansett's A 320 Airbus aicraft are to be progressively put into domestc service over the next fortnight, starting with Melbourne-Sydney and later, routes serving Perth and Brisbane. About 1500 aircrew and other staff are to be employed under Ansett's existing enterprise agreement.

Ansett International operations are not among the services due to recommence - two Boeing 747s and the 767 jets, leased from Singapore Airlines, would be offered back to the airline.

Administrator states that the company would continue to rent only those aircraft needed to service the trunk routes - at this stage, all 20 Airbus A 320 planes.

'Ansett planes set to fly again', The Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 1.

'Ansett II set to take off', The Canberra Times, 27 September 2001.

'Small start gives hope to workers', The Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 13.

'Hundreds of tickets sold as Ansett flights resume', AAP newsline, 27 September 2001.

26 September 2001 Aircraft lessors and owners reported to be making arrangements to repossess the majority of Ansett's fleet and lease the planes to Qantas and other airlines. 'Repo men move in as rent-free time ends', The Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 13.
26 September 2001 Qantas announces it will be redeploying 12 of its large international jets onto domestic routes; Qantas also reported to be negotiating with aircraft leasing firm, AWAS, to lease eight jets AWAS owns that are currently leased to Ansett, and with the Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) to lease up to 12 additional aircraft. 'Ansett planes set to fly again ... Collapsed carrier's planes set to fly again', The Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 14, continued from p. 1.
26 September 2001 Trade in Air NZ shares suspended on the New Zealand stock exchange. Ansett's administrator warns any collapse of AirNZ would devastate plans to return Ansett to Australian skies.

Air NZ Acting Chairman, Dr Jim Farmer, refutes continuing Australian allegations that Air NZ had improperly removed cash and assets from Ansett Australia before calling in a Voluntary Administrator. 'We have investigated each and every allegation, and they are completely without foundation.'

Federal Transport Minister Anderson says that the administrator's proposal to fly 10 Airbuses on main domestic trunk routes was a 'good one'.

Virgin Blue says that it is willing to get Ansett planes on a week by week wet lease, but that the administrator froze Virgin Blue out by offering the ten 737s only to Qantas, a deal that Qantas rejected.

AAP: 'Air NZ future may affect Ansett: administrator'.

AAP: 'ANZ - Ansett asset strippping denied by Air NZ'.

AAP: 'Ansett mark II no protection to ticket holders'

Ditto

25 September 2001 Qantas pulls out of talks with the administrator to lease some Ansett planes after failure to reach agreement over operational issues.

The Federal Government provides a $3.5 million loan to enable Kendell Airlines to resume flights in SA and across Bass Strait under the Rapid Route Recovery Scheme.

'Ansett: last-ditch plea to the PM', Australian Financial Review, 26 September 2001, p.1.

Hon. John Anderson, 'Kendell to Fly Again in Three States', media release A153/2001, 25 September 2001.

25 September 2001 Transport Minister, the Hon. John Anderson MP, says that claims by Victorian Premier Steve Bracks that he 'warned' the Federal Government about Ansett last month ring hollow, as he revealed nothing that was not already in the public domain. 'What Did Bracks Know About Ansett?' Ministerial press release; 25 September 2001
24 September 2001 The Federal Government delays, until early in 2002, the sale of the lease of Kingsford Smith Airport.

The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Kim Beazley MP, says that Labor would provide $150 million to $200 million either as a loan or capital injection to assist the creation of an 'Ansett mark two'. The Government says that $200 million would not suffice to rescue Ansett.

The Federal Government announces a $3 million loan to the administrator to help the regional airline, Hazelton, to resume services under the Rapid Route Recovery Scheme.

Air Nauru steps in to help stranded travellers, selling empty seats on international services between Brisbane and Melbourne and Brisbane and Sydney.

Skywest resumes full services.

'Sydney airport sale postponed', Australian Financial Review, 25 September 2001, p. 2.

'Bail-out bids spur verbal dogfight', Australian Financial Review, 25 September 2001, p. 8.

Hon. John Anderson, 'Federal Government Support for Hazelton', media release A152/2001, 24 September 2001.

AAP: Air Nauru to help stranded Ansett travellers

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

24 September 2001 Transport Minister, the Hon John Anderson MP, refers to Government's provision for 'a month's complete relaxation of cabotage restrictions to enable international carriers to operate on the domestic market'. Hon John Anderson , Questions without Notice, House of Represntatives Hansard, 24 September 2001.
23 September 2001 Internova and a group of creditors buy former Ansett subsidiary, Traveland.

The Transport Workers Union says that the Federal Government has agreed to protect the entitlements of Gate Gourmet employees but not under the Special Employee Entitlements Scheme for former Ansett employees (SEESA).

Union officials say that, while negotiations dragged on between Qantas and the administrator regarding the lease by Qantas of Ansett planes, Qantas was bringing its large, underused planes from its international routes to use domestically.

'Traveland buyer is a savior for 750 staff', Age, 24 September 2001.

AAP: 'Qantas demands Ansett pilots have psychological tests' 23 September 2001.

21 September 2001 According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Government 'coughed up $10 million to underwrite Ansett's [sic] last night'.

The Federal Government provides a $3.5 million loan to enable Ansett's West Australian subsidiary, Skywest, to start operations again under the Rapid Route Recovery Scheme.

'How Anderson's office went silent on D-day and a carrier's fate was sealed', Sydney Morning Herald, 22-23 September 2001, p. 13.

Hon. John Anderson, 'Skywest to Fly Again', media release A150/2001, 21 September 2001.

20 September 2001 The NSW Government agrees to provide a $3 million loan to the Ansett subsidiary, Hazelton Airlines, allowing it to resume some flights from 21 September. Also allows Aeropelican to resume flights.

West Australian Premier, the Hon. Dr Geoff Gallop, announces a 10-point plan to get regional air services back in the air, which did not offer credit and concentrated on working with administrators for a quick sale of the profitable Ansett's WA-based subsidiary, Skywest.

The Northern Territory Government asks Indonesia's Garuda airline to join two other foreign carriers in flying domestic passengers to Darwin.

Melbourne firm, Australia World Airways (AWA) outlines its plan to take over the overseas market left by Ansett's collapse; it is to propose to Ansett administrators, Andersen, that it take over Ansett's routes to Bali, Hong Kong, Bangkok and possibly Japan.

The Queensland Government reaches agreement with the liquidator of Flight West to underwrite the airline's air operating certificate at the cost of $100 000 a week. Premier Beattie says that his government is prepared to raise subsidies for an airline to take over former Ansett and Flight West routes.

The Government introduces Air Passenger Ticket Levy legislation. A $10 Levy is to apply to all tickets for scheduled passenger flights originating in Australia from 1 October 2001.

Funds collected from the Levy would be used by the Commonwealth to guarantee payment of certain Ansett employee entitlements pending Australian Government endeavours to recover Ansett employee entitlements from Air NZ and/or from the proceeds of any liquidation of Ansett assets.

AAP News.

'Major blow to creditors' hopes for funds', Australian Financial Review, 22-23 September 2001, p. 10.

'Ansett planes ready for take-off ... Hope as Ansett planes set for take-off', Australian Financial Review, 21 September 2001, p. 18 continued from p. 1.

'Kendell flights set to return to the skies', Australian Financial Review, 26 September 2001, p. 9.

AAP: Beattie offers more to regional air carriers.

House Hansard

Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Collection ) Bill 2001 and

Air Passenger Ticket Levy (Imposition) Bill 2001 and

Second Reading Speech by Hon John Anderson MP, 20 September 2001.

20 September 2001 Reported bidders for Ansett interests include Qantas (the ‘wet lease’ of part of the Ansett trunk route aircraft fleet); a possible consortium headed by the Fox transport group; a proposal by a group of Ansett pilots involving management buy out options; a bid by the Inland Marketing Corporation for the Kendell and Hazelton regional airline networks; a bid by an ABN Amro Morgans syndicate for WA regional airline, Skywest and a reported bid by Harvey World Travel for the Traveland travel agency subsidiary of Ansett.

Virgin Blue considers appealing to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after Qantas announced it will start services to Mt Isa. Virgin Blue head of commercial services, David Huttner, said that before the budget carrier's announcement, Qantas had not shown interest in Mt Isa since 1989 when TAA flew there.

Virgin Blue plans to source new staff from Ansett. Virgin Blue says talks with Andersen were proving hopeless and Virgin Blue now believes it would be quicker to offer employment directly to Ansett staff.

'Row grounds Qantas lease plan for Ansett planes' Australian Financial Review, 20 September 2001, pp. 7 and 11.

AAP: 'Virgin Blue suspicious of Qantas sudden interest in Mt Isa'.

AAP: Frustrated Virgin Blue to circumvent administrator

19 September 2001 International operators, Royal Brunei and Malaysian Airlines, create 400 more seats a week for travellers stranded by Ansett's collapse by commencing the transport of domestic passengers from Darwin to Brisbane and Cairns.

The Minister for Tourism, Hon. J Kelly, describes the downturn in tourism resulting from the Ansett collapse as "a little blip".

The administrator, Mr Mark Mentha, says that he has found no evidence that Air NZ asset stripped Ansett before it was put into administration.

AAP News

'Crisis, what crisis? To Kelly, it's a blip', Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2001.

'Row grounds Qantas lease plan for Ansett planes' Australian Financial Review, 20 September 2001, pp. 1 and 6.

19 September 2001 The Prime Minister tells Parliament that the Commonwealth is not prepared to permit Qantas to bring in ‘wet leased’ foreign aircraft and crews to provide additional capacity on domestic routes.

The proposed Qantas wet lease of part of the Ansett trunk line fleet fails to progress as Qantas rejected the union movement’s request that Qantas’s proposed temporary employment of Ansett flight crew be in accordance with the Ansett Enterprise Agreement rather than the less generous terms applicable to Qantas flight crew.

'Row grounds Qantas lease plan for Ansett planes' Australian Financial Review, 20 September 2001, pp. 1 and 6.
19 September 2001 Victorian Premier, the Hon. Steve Bracks MP, reports to the Victorian Parliament that the Commonwealth had dismissed his calls for "urgent discussions" on Ansett which he had proposed in a letter to the Prime Minister on 7 August 2001. The Bracks' Government position was that the Commonwealth’s continued support for the Qantas proposal (at that stage, already rejected by Singapore Airlines) would jeopardise Ansett's future. The Australian Financial Review 20 September 2001, p. 7
18 September 2001 The Prime Minister announces that the Government would pay the bulk of Ansett employee entitlements if AirNZ does not meet its obligations. Ansett employees will receive all of their statutory entitlements and up to eight weeks redundancy payments.

The Government also confirms that it would introduce a levy on domestic airfares to cover the cost of statutory entitlements if the money could not be raised from Ansett sale proceeds or AirNZ. The levy would apply to each air ticket used to board a flight starting its journey at an Australian airport.

The Government maintains that AirNZ has a moral and a legal responsibility to meet Ansett employee entitlements and that the Commonwealth would vigorously pursue AirNZ to recover entitlements; the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) was investigating the issue. ASIC has requested its NZ counterpart to examine the adequacy of disclosure by AirNZ. Dr Farmer, acting chairman of AirNZ, says that AirNZ would not pay for employee entitlements.

The Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Hon. John Anderson, states that "the majority of regional towns and centres previously exclusively serviced by Ansett are now receiving services..."

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission is told that Air NZ directors withdrew a letter of comfort guaranteeing up to $400 million of financial support for Ansett hours before administrators took over.

House Hansard

Australian Financial Review

'Ansett Update', media release A134/2001, 18 September 2001.

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

17 September 2001 PricewaterhouseCoopers resigned as administrators after unions accused the firm of having a conflict of interest. The firm had previously done work for AirNZ. Arthur Andersen replaced PricewaterhouseCoopers. Two co-administrators: Mr Mark Korda and Mr Mark Mentha.

AirNZ release August letter sent to the Prime Minister warning of the level of Ansett losses. The Government says that it knew in June that Ansett was losing $18 million weekly but was assured that improvement was in sight.

Qantas expands its regional network to include 22 centres previously serviced only by Ansett.

ABC news

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

16 September 2001 Administrator announces investigation into alleged asset stripping by AirNZ of Ansett; media report suggested that proceeds of Ansett’s aircraft sale/leaseback during 2001 drained some $A400 million from Ansett in the airline’s final months.

Qantas and Virgin Blue seek to expand capacity to make up for Ansett's demise by trying to lease Ansett jets.

Age

Australian Financial Review, 20 September 2001, p. 6.

'Holiday traffic hits the road', Australian Financial Review, 26 September 2001, p. 9.

16 September 2001 The Minister for Workplace Relations, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, announced a levy of around $10 on air tickets to finance Ansett employee entitlements if AirNZ does not fund the entitlements. The administrator, Mr Peter Hodge said that he had not seen any evidence to suggest that entitlements were not covered. Age
16 September 2001 Administrator announced investigation into alleged asset stripping by AirNZ of Ansett.

The Opposition leader, Hon. Kim Beazley, says Labor would reluctantly back the Government's proposed $10 ticket levy.

Age

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

16 September 2001 The Australian Government threatens legal action against AirNZ, accusing AirNZ of 'running Ansett into the ground'. Age
14 September 2001 Administrator halts all Ansett group flights

Australian Securities and Investment Commmission starts formal investigation into Ansett collapse.

Australian Stock Exchange suspends trade in AirNZ shares.

Hon. John Anderson MP Media Release A132/2001

AAP, 'Timeline of events since Ansett's collapse', 27 September 2001.

'Air NZ in suspense as farce unfolds', Australian Financial Review, 27 September 2001, p. 14.

14 September 2001 AirNZ's Acting Chairman, Jim Farmer, denied Australian Government claims that it wasn't appraised of the seriousness of Ansett's financial situation; he said that the Department of Transport had been advised in April 2001 and Minister, the Hon. John Anderson MP, in May 2001. Overseas news cable, story 7079
13 September 2001 Gate Gourmet, Ansett's flight caterer, appointed voluntary administrators Australian Financial Review
13 September 2001 NZ Government announced a rescue package for AirNZ including a $NZ 550 million stand-by credit facility for up to seven years and a two year revolving credit facility of up to NZ$200 million for working capital. Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Brierley each to contribute $NZ150 million additional equity to AirNZ. SIA allowed to raise its equity in AirNZ to 35 per cent. But SIA is participating subject to a due diligence report into AirNZ's financial position. SIA has placed a deadline of one month on the report. Australian Financial Review
13 September 2001 Trading of AirNZ's shares halted at AirNZ's request to allow negotiations with its major shareholders and the NZ Government to take place  
12 September 2001 AirNZ asked the Australian Government to inject cash into Ansett to support a restructuring plan. The Government rejected the proposal. Australian Financial Review
12 September 2001 Transport Minister Anderson says that he did not find out until 9 September of the true extent of Ansett's losses Australian Financial Review
12 September 2001 The Government 'admitted' that it did not have a back up plan if a deal involving Qantas and Virgin Blue did not proceed Australian Financial Review
12 September 2001 AirNZ placed Ansett placed under voluntary administration (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) after Qantas refused to buy any of Ansett's assets Australian Financial Review
11 September 2001 The Government signalled that it might be prepared to change competition law to allow mergers or acquisitions that lessen competition substantially. The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Dr Fels, said that competition laws to prevent abuse of market power should be strengthened. Australian Financial Review
11 September 2001 Qantas ruled out buying Ansett Australian Financial Review
10 September 2001 Qantas and Virgin Blue began negotiations to buy parts of Ansett at the request of AirNZ and the Australian Government with the consent of the ACCC. Virgin Blue's Branson said that Virgin Blue would not buy Ansett. Virgin Blue's chief executive said that Virgin would be interested in buying some of Ansett's assets.

The chairman of the ACCC, Dr Fels, said that he was 'reluctant' in principle to allow discussions between Qantas and Ansett but was allowing the discussions to proceed on the basis of Ansett's poor financial position.

The Government signals that, while it would not inject equity into Ansett, it may consider some form of assistance.

The Treasurer indicated that the Government would move quickly to assess any bid for Ansett entailing foreign investment.

Australian Financial Review

Hon John Anderson, 'Future of Ansett Australia', media release A127/2001, 10 September 2001.

8-9 September 2001 The Australian and NZ Governments began talks to avoid the appointment of administrators to Ansett.

AirNZ revealed that Ansett was losing $1.3 million daily.

The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Kim Beazley MP, said that Labor would support a taxpayer-funded investment in Ansett to secure jobs.

Australian Financial Review
7 September 2001 Australian and NZ Governments say that they are unable to agree to a restructuring plan for AirNZ until AirNZ's true financial position revealed. AirNZ's losses may exceed AU$166 million.

Prime Minister Howard rejects government direct equity investment in Ansett.

AirNZ announces that SIA has reduced the price it is willing to pay to take a bigger stake in AirNZ.

The chief executive of Virgin Blue, Mr Brett Godfrey, says that Virgin has proposed to the NZ Government that Virgin buy SIA's stake in AirNZ. This would result in not two but three players: Singapore-Ansett, Qantas-Impulse, and AirNZ-Virgin.

Australian Financial Review

Prime Minister, transcript of the doorstop, Melbourne, 7 September 2001.

6 September 2001 Australian Government rejected financial assistance to Ansett in the form of a cash injection. SIA reconsidering whether it wants to raise its stake in AirNZ. Australian Financial Review
5 September 2001 AirNZ asked Qantas to buy Ansett. Qantas rejected the offer. Qantas told the Government of the offer on the same day. The Australian Financial Review
5 September 2001 Ansett's deteriorating financial position led the NZ Government to defer a decision on whether to allow SIA to increase its equity in AirNZ and consider whether to provide financial support to AirNZ.  
4 September 2001 Virgin Blue rejected AirNZ's takeover offer. SIA subsequently reneged on a plan to inject funds into AirNZ and Ansett. SIA also rejected an offer from AirNZ to sell Ansett for $NZ 500 million. The Australian Financial Review
27 August 2001 NZ PM Clark stated the 'the Government has no desire to be involved in the commercial affairs of Air NZ. It is not our wish to go near a shareholding'. The Australian Financial Review
7 August 2001 The Hon Steve Bracks MP, Victorian Premier, wrote to the Commonwealth calling for "urgent discussions" on Ansett. Bracks' position was that the Commonwealth’s continued support for the Qantas proposal (at that stage, already rejected by Singapore Airlines) would jeopardise Ansett's future. The proposed talks did not proceed. The Australian Financial Review, 20 September 2001 p. 7
30 July 2001 Dr Cheong of SIA said that SIA does not want to split Ansett from AirNZ even if SIA's bid to raise SIA's shareholding in AirNZ failed. He said that SIA stood ready to inject AU$573 million into Ansett and AirNZ if the NZ Government agreed to its proposal to raise its equity in AirNZ to 49 per cent. The Australian
29 June 2001 AirNZ presented a plan to the NZ Government to lift SIA's stake in AirNZ to 49 per cent 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
26 June 2001 NZ PM Clark stated that the NZ Government is reluctant to lift the foreign ownership cap of 25 per cent in AirNZ. Ansett's CEO, Mr Toomey said that a second option is to sell all or part of Ansett directly to SIA (the first option is to allow SIA to increase its stake in AirNZ). According to the article, the second option has precedents, citing the Australian Government's approval for SIA to buy News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett. (SIA's bid was thwarted when AirNZ exercised its pre-emptive rights to News Limited's shares and bought the stake for $680 million). The Age
19 June 2001 AirNZ board endorsed the SIA proposal 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
15 June 2001 SIA countered the Qantas bid with a plan to increase SIA's stake in AirNZ 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
29 May 2001 Qantas announced a bid for AirNZ by buying SIA and Brierley's stakes, in return for SIA buying Ansett The Age
1 May 2001 Qantas reached agreement with Impulse after Singapore's GIC refused to support a $50 million capital raising by Impulse 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
12 April 2001 Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) grounded Ansett's fleet of ten 767 aircraft indefinitely following repeated failures by Ansett to maintain the aircraft properly. CASA press conference 12/04/01
9 April 2001 Ansett grounded three aircraft with defective pylons. CASA grounded four other aircraft pending tests. CASA press conference 10/04/01
21 February 2001 AirNZ announced a profit fall of 94 per cent to $3.7 million The Age
18 January 2001 CASA grounded three of Ansett's 767s. They were three of the seven aircraft grounded in December 2000. 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
December 2000 CASA grounded seven Ansett's 767s because of safety concerns. The Age
September 2000 Mr Gary Toomey appointed CEO of AirNZ-Ansett group 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
August 2000 SIA bought 25 per cent of AirNZ from Brierley Investments AAP chronology
30 July 2001 SIA's CEO, Dr Cheong Choong Kong, rejects Qantas's proposal to buy 25 per cent of AirNZ 'How Howard killed off Ansett's bid for survival', Australian Financial Review, 29-30 September 2001, p.3.
23 June 2000 AirNZ took over the News stake in Ansett The Age
13 June 2000 Treasurer approved AirNZ's acquisition of News's 50 per cent interest in Ansett Holdings Limited. 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
25 April 2000 SIA bought 16.6 per cent of Brierley Investments stake in AirNZ for $NZ285 million The Age
11 April 2000 SIA bought 8.3 per cent of AirNZ for $NZ140 million 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
March 2001 Ansett purchased NSW regional operator, Hazelton, for over $20 million after a protracted bidding process with Qantas; ACCC declined to support the Qantas bid on competition grounds. The Australian Financial Review, 17 April 01
24 February 2000 AirNZ paid $680 million for News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett The Age
1990s   'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
11 June 1999 AirNZ refused to give up its pre-emptive right to buy News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett. This had the effect of preventing SIA from buying News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett. The Age
25 March 1999 SIA agreed to buy News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett for $500 million 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
1998 Ansett formed an alliance with AirNZ and Singapore Airlines (SIA). Ansett became a full member of the Star Alliance in 1999. Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand also members of the world’s largest airline alliance, the Star Alliance, while Qantas and British Airways are long standing members of the smaller One World alliance. AAP chronology
May 1997 Major restructuring of Ansett Australia initiated to cut operating costs, rationalise its fleet and to broaden its international fleet offerings. Aviation week and Space Technology, 19/5/97
1 October 1996 AirNZ completed its acquisition of it 50 per cent interest in Ansett (Domestic group); AirNZ paid TNT Ltd $A325 million for its 50 per cent stake and committed $A150 million as a capital injection for the airline, with its partner, News Corp contributing $A50 million. Ansett Australia sold 51 per cent of its shareholding in Ansett International to Australian institutional investors to ensure regulatory compliance.

Ansett/ alliance was expected to provide the two carriers AirNZwith immediate savings of more than $A50 million a year by pooling terminal facilities.

Aircraft and Aerospace Asia-Pacific, November 1996

Ansett Holdings Limited, Annual Report, 1996

18 September 1996 The Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Costello MP, approved AirNZ's purchase of TNT's 50 per cent interest in Ansett under the Commonwealth's foreign investment guidelines. As a condition of the approval, Ansett International Limited was retained as a substantially Australian-owned and effectively Australian-controlled entity which was necessary for it to retain its 'Australian flag' status and to meet the requirements of the Air Navigation Act 1920. Treasurer's press release, 18 September 1996
20 June 1996 Australian Consumer and Competition Commission announced it would not intervene in the proposed AirNZ purchase of 50 per cent of Ansett Australia The Australian Financial Review, 21/6/96
19 October 1994 An Ansett Boeing 747 crashlanded onto its nose at Sydney Airport with 274 aboard. The subsequent Bureau of Air Safety investigation report questioned Ansett safety procedures and training.  
October 1994 Keating Government denied Air New Zealand (AirNZ) access to the Australian domestic market (by suspending the Single Aviation Market with New Zealand) from 1 November 1994, reportedly to increase the value of shares in the float of Qantas  
September 1994 Ansett International commenced its inaugural services to Osaka, Japan and to Hong Kong using two leased Boeing 747 jumbo jet aircraft 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
June 1994 Ansett named 1994 Airline of the Year in travel industry awards 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
11 September 1993 Commencement of Ansett International services with inaugural route to Bali, Indonesia  
1993 Rationalisation of Ansett's subsidiary airlines with Ansett Express, Ansett WA and Eastwest Airlines being grouped within Ansett Australia. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
August 1992 – March 1993 Operation of a 're-born' Compass Airlines (Mark 2) by Southern Cross Airlines Holdings Ltd; failed financially on 12 March 1993 Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993
December 1992 British Airways bought a 25 per cent stake in Qantas 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
1 November 1992 From this date, Qantas was permitted to carry domestic passengers in Australia.  
2 June 1992 Commonwealth approved the sale of Australian Airlines to Qantas and announced that Qantas would be privatised 100 per cent.  
February 1992 Keating Government's 'One Nation' statement announced the end of the Single Designation Policy, allowing Australian carriers other than Qantas to fly scheduled international services from Australia.  
1992 Independent Air Services Commission created to award Australia's international air service capacity entitlements to operators.  
20 December 1991 Compass Airlines ceased operations following its financial collapse and after a fare discounting war with Ansett and Australian Airlines Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
January 1991 SIA considered buying News Limited's 50 per cent stake in Ansett The Age
1 December 1990 Commencement of Compass Airlines operations with two Airbus A300-600 aircraft and promoting low fare, no-frills travel over trunk routes 'The airline ownership Game',West Australian 02/07/01
31 October 1990 Commencement of domestic airline deregulation – controls on fares, aircraft capacity, aircraft imports and new entry on to trunk routes abolished  
October 1990 AAA name changed; became Ansett Australia 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
1990 The Hawke Government announced it would proceed with the privatisation of Qantas to 49 per cent and of Australian Airlines (formerly Trans Australia Airlines) to 100 per cent. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
August 1989–March 1990 Domestic Pilots' Dispute 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
1980s    
1 July 1988 Qantas granted the right to carry passengers of other international airlines on the domestic sectors of its services Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
1988 Ansett became sole owner of Ansett New Zealand with purchase of shareholdings by Newmans and Brierley Investments. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
7 October 1987 The Commonwealth gave Ansett and TAA the required three years notice that it would terminate the Airlines Agreement and deregulate the domestic airline industry.

This was followed by the removal of restrictions on domestic operators other than Ansett and Australian Airlines operating commercial domestic charter flights with large aircraft.

Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
31 July 1987 TNT and News Ltd bought no-frills carrier, Eastwest Airlines but continued to operate the airline independently of Ansett.  
25 July 1987 Launch of Ansett New Zealand 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
2 July 1987 Incorporation of Compass Airlines (Mark 1); founded by Mr Bryan Grey, former Ansett executive and former chief executive of Eastwest Airlines during its competitive trunk route forays in the early 1980s  
January 1987 Release of the Thomas May Independent Review of Economic Regulation of Domestic Aviation 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996,

Independent Review of Economic Regulation of Domestic Aviation, Australian Government Publishing Service,Canberra, December 1986.

1987 Ansett bought 20 per cent of America West Airlines based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
November 1986 Completion of the May Review; report presented to Government  
March 1985 Hawke Labor Government announced the establishment of a major Independent Review of Economic Regulation of Domestic Aviation chaired by Thomas May  
1985 News Ltd set up an aircraft leasing division, Ansett World Wide Aviation Services (AWAS) to lease aircraft to airlines and to provide management, technical and training support. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
23 December 1981 Death of Sir Reginald Ansett  
30 June 1981 Cessation of listing of Ansett shares on Australian Stock exchange H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981
1981 Airlines Agreement Act 1981 passed through Federal Parliament; this facilitated a further extension of the two airline policy but with provisions allowing for some flexibility in the setting of trunk route air fares through regulatory machinery administered by a newly created Independent Air Fares Committee. The new Agreement also permitted new airlines to operate 'specialist' services on trunk routes in competition with Ansett and TAA.  
1981 Repeal of Australian National Airlines Act 1945  
1981 Establishment of the Independent Air Fares Committee  
1970s    
Late 1979 Acquisition of Ansett Transport Industries Limited by News Ltd and TNT with each company holding 50 per cent of Ansett's shares; chairman of News Ltd, Mr Rupert Murdoch and chairman of TNT, Sir Peter Abels, became Ansett's joint managing directors. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
1978 Sharp decline in Ansett's financial condition following collapse of a finance company, Associated Securities Ltd (ASL) 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
1974 Cessation of Ansett Flying Boat services to Lord Howe Island  
1972 A new Airlines Agreement legislated for, facilitating a further extension of the two airline policy  
1972 Senate Report on the Proposed Takeover of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd by Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd highlighted perceived shortcomings of the two-airline policy such as parallel scheduling and the lack of competitive airfares. Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
1960s    
December 1968 Ansett acquired remaining 29 per cent of MacRobertson Miller Airlines Services; Ansett became the largest airline in Australia H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981. and 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
July 1963 Ansett acquired 71 per cent of MacRobertson Miller Airlines Services and its subsidiaries; mainly a WA operator H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
April 1960 Ansett acquired Mandated Airlines Limited – renamed Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
1950s    
July 1959 Ansett acquired Guinea Airways Pty Ltd, an intrastate operator in SA H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
1958 Airlines Equipment Act passed pursuant to the two airline policy  
October 1957 Ansett acquired independent NSW intrastate operator, Butler Air Transport Ltd and its subsidiary, Queensland Airlines Pty Ltd  
September 1957 The Prime Minister, Thethe Hon. R J Menzies MP, indicated that the Commonwealth remained committed to the concepts underpinning the 1952 Civil Aviation Agreement Act (ie the two airline policy) - namely that of providing for fair and equal competition for two major operators on Australia's domestic trunk routes

Menzies indicated that in accordance with this policy, the private airline concerned (now Ansett-ANA in lieu of ANA) would be given continued access to Government mail and business and provided with financial assistance for aircraft fleet re-equipment.

H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
June 1957 The shipping interests, which controlled ANA, announced that the company could not meet its outstanding commitments in respect of the repayment of loans which the Commonwealth guaranteed under Clause 3 of the 1952 Airlines Agreement.

ANA asked the Commonwealth for time to negotiate the sale or liquidation of its airline operation. Commonwealth agreed to this request

The comparatively small operator, Ansett Transport Industries Limited, emerged as the only bona fide purchaser

H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
January 1957 Death of Sir Ivan Holyman, chairman of ANA.  
1957 With the assistance of finance provided by the Vacuum Oil and Shell companies, Ansett acquired the second main trunk airline, Australian National Airways; the combined entity became Ansett-ANA . 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996The Australian, op. cit.
1954 First pressurised aircraft, the Convair 340, came into use.  
30 October 1952 The Two Airline Policy was enacted as legislation in the Civil Aviation Agreement Act 1952 as an initiative of the Menzies Government with a view to securing the orderly growth and financial security of the infant industry. Intended to be in force for 15 years, this Agreement and subsequent Agreements legislation and Supporting Airlines Equipment legislation, was the genesis and vehicle of the two airline policy, which prevailed in various forms for 38 years through to 1990. Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
1940s    
1949 Election of the Menzies Government with a platform aviation policy of requiring TAA to operate competitively  
1946 Establishment of Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA), the airline trading name of the Australian National Airlines Commission Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics (BTCE), The Progress of Aviation Reform. Report 81, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1993.
1945 Attempts by the Labour Government to nationalise the airline industry thwarted by High Court action and leading to the establishment of the Government's Australian National Airlines Commission by the Chifley Government H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981

'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996

1945 In the Airlines case, the High Court upheld the Commonwealth's right to establish and operate air services by the Australian National Airlines Commission on interstate routes H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
1930s    
14 April 1937 Ansett (formally Ansett Transport Industries Limited) incorporated as a public company under the Victorian Companies Act H.W. Poulton, Law, History and Politics of the Australian Two Airline System, Melbourne, 1981.
1 July 1936 Registration of the private airline company, Australian National Airways (ANA), later to be taken over by Ansett. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
17 February 1936 Inaugural Ansett Airways Pty Ltd air service initiated between Hamilton and Melbourne using a single Fokker Universal aircraft with capacity for 6 passengers. 'Ansett Australia: The First sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996
1900s    
13 February 1909 Reginald Myles Ansett born at Inglewood, near Bendigo. John Monk, 'Reg Ansett - the Flying Knight' in The Australian, 14 April 1979.

'Ansett Australia: The First Sixty Years'; supplement in The Australian, 16 February 1996;

John Hetherington, Uncommon Men, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1965.

 

Commonwealth of Australia
Chronologies are written for Members of Parliament, being located on the Internet they can be read by members of the public, however some linked items are available to Members of Parliament only, due to copyright reasons.


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