Flight Centre under pressure

CONFIDENTIAL emails from Flight Centre executives, including the managing director, Graham Turner, reveal the level of pressure they were putting on major airlines to shelve bargain fares available over their websites because they were undercutting its own prices.

>> Read more about Flight Centre being caught out by the ACCC

In an email in May 2009, Mr Turner personally wrote to Singapore Airlines's Australian boss seeking ''an agreement that we will not be undercut on the web''.

The emails from Mr Turner and another Flight Centre manager are contained in a statement of claim lodged by the competition regulator in the Federal Court in Brisbane.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has used the emails to support its case that Flight Centre sought to illegally fix prices by attempting to collude with Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates between 2005 and 2009. The emails from Mr Turner were sent in 2009 when Flight Centre was at loggerheads with Singapore Airlines over a new preferred-carrier agreement.

On May 12 that year, Mr Turner sent an email to the airline's country manager, Subhas Menon, in which he talked of a ''lunch to either stitch up a mutally [sic] agreed arrangement or to go our separate ways''.

Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au


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