11-Nov-2010 8:35 AM

European Union's EUR800m cargo cartel fine updates

European Union fined (09-Nov-2010) 11 carriers a total of EUR799.4 million for fixing prices on international cargo shipments but dropped charges against a further 11 including Air New Zealand, Malaysian Airlines/MASkargo and Thai Airways. European Affairs Minister Pierre Lellouche said he was "shocked by the totally disproportionate nature of this fine in terms of the losses potentially suffered by users of (the) freight service of the group's companies" (SMH, 10-Nov-2010). Air France-KLM was given a EUR340 million fine for its role in a global cargo cartel. Mr Lellouche stated (it) "will inflict considerable damage on the French air sector and adds to losses suffered by the sector in 2009, in the context of the financial crisis". [more - Air New Zealand] [more - Malaysian Airlines]

Singapore Airlines Cargo expressed (10-Nov-2010) disappointment over the EU’s decision to fine the carrier EUR74.8 million, contesting any suggestion that it has been involved in a global conspiracy to fix surcharges or rates. As a result, SIA Cargo stated it is likely to appeal to the European Courts in Luxembourg. [more - SIA Cargo]

Cathay Pacific confirmed (09-Nov-2010) it incurred a EUR57.1 million fine and is currently reviewing the decision and evaluating its options with legal advisers. [more - Cathay]

Qantas confirmed it has been fined EUR8.8 million and will consider the penalty in detail when a full decision is received shortly. Qantas acknowledged “improper conduct” by its freight unit between 2000 and 2006 (Bloomberg, 10-Nov-2010).

SAS Scandinavian airlines announced it would appeal its EUR70.2 million fine saying it would nevertheless take the charge in its third-quarter earnings (Reuters, 09-Nov-2010).

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