ACTU Secretary Greg Combet has welcomed a $200 million compensation agreement between Ansett’s Administrators and Air New Zealand as good news for Ansett staff.

This agreement is good news for Ansett staff. The cash and operational support it provides is a significant boost to our efforts to get more Ansett planes back in the sky and save as many Ansett jobs as possible,” said Mr Combet.

Under the agreement, Air New Zealand will provide a compensation package to Ansett valued at more than $200 million. The package includes a $150 million cash payment to Ansett, Ansett access to valuable Japanese landing slots and the return of all Ansett spares and parts from New Zealand.

The deal also opens the way for Singapore Airlines to provide Ansett with management and operational systems, a move that would significantly enhance the prospects of a successful sale of the airline.

The injection of $150 million into Ansett also means that the entitlements of Ansett employees will be more secure.

“It’s common sense that the best way to protect entitlements is to save jobs. This money from Air New Zealand will significantly increase the chances of saving as many Ansett jobs as possible.

“This $150 million addition to Ansett’s assets means that any Ansett employee who does lose their job is now more likely to receive 100% of what they are owed,” said Mr Combet.

Mr Combet said that the attitude of the Federal Government towards Ansett remained the biggest barrier to maximising Ansett jobs and protecting 100% of employee entitlements.

“We are very concerned that despite implementing its $10 ticket tax to fund its Ansett employee entitlements scheme, the Federal Government is refusing to rule out the possibility that it may also seek to recoup this money from the assets of Ansett.

“Any move by the Federal Government to take money out of Ansett would be nothing short of sabotage. The Government owes it to Ansett workers and the community to rule this option out,” said Mr Combet.