Todays vote was what Virgin Blue hoped for, don't
know if you saw the article in todays paper:
Wed "Sydney Morning Herald"
Virgin counsels Ansett creditors
By Darren Goodsir, Transport Editor
March 27 2002
Virgin Blue will push Ansett's creditors to block a bid by airport owners to put the airline into liquidation at a meeting today.
Part way through negotiations over securing the lease on Sydney's domestic terminal, Virgin Blue yesterday urged creditors to approve the deed of company arrangement, the option favoured by the administrators, because it was the best way to maximise returns.
Virgin Blue's head of commercial, David Huttner, said the airline wanted more time to assess the terminal lease deals.
If Ansett were put into liquidation, as sought by the airport owners and a group of frequent fliers, it would activate default clauses on the leases.
This would take negotiations out of the administrators' hands and allow the Sydney Airports Corporation (SACL) to have first rights on a commercial basis.
Mr Huttner said this could diminish the eventual pool of funds to be paid to creditors.
"We encourage creditors not to move to liquidation at this stage," he said. "We have only had a week or so to look through these matters thoroughly and we think there is a prospect that we can reach agreement.
"That might mean more money available for staff entitlements, and other creditors, than what might be under a liquidation."
A spokesman for SACL said it was not promoting liquidation but did not support the deed of company arrangement as it stood.
"The deed attempts to frustrate the rights and claims of domestic terminal lessors," he said. "We are concerned that the report to creditors might be misleading."
Talks yesterday continued between the Federal Government's negotiator on Ansett, David Crawford, and the administrators, Mark Mentha and Mark Korda, over how to secure the Commonwealth's contributions.
The Federal Government has made advances to the administrator to help speed the payment of entitlements to retrenched workers.
It was unclear last night whether the Commonwealth had changed its position on supporting Ansett's quest to continue under administration.
The Department of Transport is concerned that further delays over the ownership of Ansett's former terminals will hamper attempts by Qantas and Virgin Blue to expand capacity.
However, the ACTU, representing the biggest block of creditors, is still standing firm.