Perth Airport and Qantas are set to duke it out in the Western Australian Supreme Court to settle a dispute over airport fees.
The WA hub alleges the Australian flag carrier owes it more than $11 million in runway and facility charges, which the airline has accrued over the past six months, Fairfax Media reported.
Since the expiration of the two parties’ previous deal on 30 June, Perth Airport says it began charging Qantas Group airlines what it calls “a significant price reduction”.
“Despite the reduced price offered, Qantas unilaterally decide to short-pay these invoices by around 40 per cent," the airport said in a statement, claiming QF had only paid $16.5 million of a $27.8 million bill for the period between July and October.
"The amount now outstanding totals approximately $11.3 million which constitutes a material amount of revenue and is not sustainable."
Perth also said Qantas had nevertheless been passing on fees PER had been invoicing to its customers.
In the carrier’s defence, Qantas domestic airlines CEO Andrew David said the carrier had continued to pay the hub, “just not at the unjustified rates they have proposed”.
"Without agreement or reasonable justification, Perth Airport has been sending us invoices for higher fees and charges, when these were already too high to begin with," Mr David said.
“We are willing to pay fair and reasonable charges but want to ensure that our customers are not paying more in airport charges than is absolutely necessary.”
Perth Airport says legal action will not impact Qantas operations at the hub, but added that an ongoing dispute could affect its “ability to provide services and build additional capacity in the future to meet the needs of its airline partners and the travelling public”.
According to Fairfax, Airlines for Australia and New Zealand data shows PER to be among the most profitable airports in the world.
It was recently announced the WA hub would become the first airport in Australia to trial sleeping pods in one of its terminals.
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