Seventh airline settles in cargo case
Air New Zealand is one of four airlines fighting charges of price-fixing air cargo rates (file, Reuters)
Four airlines, including Air New Zealand, are left fighting charges of price-fixing air cargo rates after a seventh airline reached a million-dollar settlement with the Commerce Commission.
Singapore Airlines Cargo agreed to pay a $4.1 million penalty for price fixing after admitting it agreed to fuel and security surcharges in Indonesia and Malaysia for cargo flown to New Zealand over a four-year period from 2001.
The penalty reflects a 20 percent discount for a guilty plea, and the Commerce Commission agreed to discontinue proceedings against Singapore Airlines Cargo's parent company Singapore Airlines.
Total penalties in the cargo cartel case are now $25.475 million after settlements were previously reached with British Airways, Cargolux Airlines, Emirates, Korean Air Lines, Qantas and Japan Airlines.
"Price fixing is unlawful and the fines imposed in the air cargo case should be a deterrent to others who might breach the Commerce Act," Commerce Commission chairman Mark Berry said.
"The fines are also a reminder to companies that it is important to have effective compliance programmes in place to prevent anti-competitive behaviour."
A commission spokeswoman says Air New Zealand, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines are still fighting the charges.
A hearing on the case is scheduled in March next year.