Qantas has lost a High Court appeal to a ruling that it must pay potentially millions of dollars in commissions to travel agents that it tried to argue did not apply.
Qantas had launched an appeal in the High Court to an earlier ruling in the Federal Court that it was liable to pay commissions to travel agents on fuel surcharges as part of a class action against a group of major airlines. The High Court has now dismissed the appeal, meaning that it will be referred back to the Federal Court to determine the amount to be paid to the travel agents.
The payout could be significant, with Qantas previously noting that up to 2007 that the cost of commissions on the surcharges would be in excess of $26 million. Given the time since, it is expected that would have increased considerably.