Saturday, June 13, 2009

Budget airline accuses fuel supplier of telling tales

Jetstar Pacific has accused the Vietnam Air Petrol Company of making false reports about its gasoline purchases to the government.

At a public hearing on April 14, the Vietnam Competition Council had said national carrier Vietnam Airlines’ aviation fuel supply company, known as Vinapco, has abused its monopoly position and flouted the Law of Competition.

It also fined Vinapco VND3 billion (US$168,300) for cutting off fuel supply to Jetstar Pacific on April 1 last year following an argument over prices.

When the dispute broke out, Jetstar Pacific was known as Pacific Airlines. The domestic carrier later transformed into the low-cost Jetstar Pacific in May 2008 under an agreement with Australia’s Jetstar Airways.

At the hearing, the budget airline had called for separating Vinapco from its rival Vietnam Airlines.

Jetstar Pacific said in a report submitted to the Prime Minister that Vinapco and its parent company Vietnam Airlines had falsely reported to the media that the aviation fuel company had to stop supplies because the airline owed money for fuel supplied earlier.

Vinapco had in a report sent to Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai last month accused Jetstar Pacific and Indochina Airlines of being constantly late in paying for fuel, piling up debt that was adversely impacting the fuel supplier’s operations.

But Jetstar Pacific said Vinapco was abusing its monopoly position to appropriate airlines’ money by requiring prepayment for fuel supplies.

The low-cost airline also said Vinapco’s current business situation was extremely rare and that it could not treat prepayments as debts.

Vinapco’s accusations can hit our business hard. Besides Vinapco, we have no other fuel supplier to opt for in Vietnam,” Jetstar Pacific General Director Luong Hoai Nam said in the report.

Source: Tuoi Tre


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