EC PUNISHES 11 AIRLINES WITH €800 MILLION FINE FOR CARGO CARTEL

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By admin November 10, 2010 21:22

EC PUNISHES 11 AIRLINES WITH €800 MILLION FINE FOR CARGO CARTEL

The European Commission has fined 11 European carriers a total of €799.5 million for participating in an air cargo cartel.

The airlines were charged with colluding over setting fuel and security charges in the period immediately after 9/11 until 2006, which the EC alleges resulted in increased prices for cargo shipping. EU competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, said the difficult operating environment after the terrorist attacks on New York was not an “acceptable reason to stop competing against each other,” and that they “always had an alternative”. He also rejected pleas from some airlines to reduce some of the fines, which some airlines suggested could force them out of business.

Air France-KLM was hit hardest with a total charge for group – Air France, KLM and Martinair, to €339.6 million. British Airways received a €104 million fine. Scandinavian airline SAS was fined €70.2 million. Others fined include: Air Canada for €21 million, Cathay Pacific for €57.12 million, Cargolux for €79.9 million, Japan Airlines for €35.7 million, LAN Chile for €8.2 million, Singapore Airlines for €74.8 million and €8.9 million for Qantas. Lufthansa as whistleblower of the scheme was exempt from a fine. US airlines also escaped due to a lack of any evidence they participated in the cartel.

Many of the airlines have stated they will appeal the decision. However, many customers of the cargo firms are already seeking to be reimbursed through legal claims. Ericsson and Philips are among those firms seeking compensation, along with hundreds of smaller claimants.

admin
By admin November 10, 2010 21:22
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