Sydney Airports Corp (SACL) says it will
not transfer the Ansett Australia terminal lease to the prospective new owners
of the failed carrier until it receives detailed information necessary to
complete due diligence and ensure that financial and environmental liabilities
can be met.
Earlier overtures to Ansett’s
administrators requesting financial information and offering interim
arrangements allowing Ansett to operate from the terminal from 31 January drew
little response, says SACL in a statement. Ansett is in the process
of being acquired by a group called Tesna that is controlled by two Melbourne businessmen.
“We are keen to see Tesna begin operations
in a timely manner. Sydney Airport is not holding back the airline’s
operations. There are key issues outstanding and the ball is in the
administrator and Tesna’s court to finalise their position and get back to us
for resolution,” says SACL CEO Tony Stuart.
In a brief statement, Ansett administrators
from financial services company Andersen say they have provided all information
required under the current terminal lease. Encouragingly, however, both sides
appear to be getting down to business.
“A lot of progress has been made in the
last four days and it is regrettable that this could not have been undertaken
earlier. SACL could have completed the assignment of the lease by 31 January
had Andersens and Tesna come to the table to talk about the substantive terms
of assignment before 17 January,” says Stuart.
Apart from financial and environmental
issues, SACL wants to ensure spare capacity at the terminal can be used by
other airlines in line with the Corporation’s stated policy to promote
SACL also wants “performance security” over
liabilities such as charges and rents, which it says is being given to other
Ansett’s sale to the Tesna consortium,
approved on 29 January by creditors, will not go through if the terminal lease
is not secured.
The carrier collapsed in mid September
after mounting losses forced its parent Air New Zealand to abandon its struggling