The European Union Nov. 9 fined 11 airlines $1.1 billion for their role in a global cartel that colluded to fix air cargo rates.
Air France-KLM, Europe's biggest cargo airline, was hit with the largest fine of $476 million while British Airways has to pay $145.6 million and Singapore Airlines $104.7 million.
The announcement of the fines brings to a close a four year investigation that began with dawn raids on airline offices on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 11 airlines "coordinated their action on surcharges for fuel and security without discounts," between 2000 and 2006, the European Commission, the EU's executive said.
The cartel "would have continued" had the Commission not intervened, EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
The Commission was due to hand down its decision a year ago, but the case was delayed as airlines claimed they could not pay heavy fines due to the slump in the air cargo market.
The other airlines facing EU fines include Cargolux $112 million, SAS Scandinavian Airline System $98.3 million, Cathay Pacific $80 million, Japan Air Lines $50 million, Martinair $41.3 million and Air Canada $29.4 million.
Australian airline Qantas and LAN Chile were both fined around $12 million.
Lufthansa was found guilty price fixing but escaped fines because it notified the Commission of the cartel and co-operated in its investigations.
The air cargo fines fall short of the EU's largest anti-trust penalty of $1.93 billion imposed on a cartel of automobile glass makers in 2008.
The airlines have two months to launch an appeal in the European Court of Justice.
The U.S., which has been running a parallel investigation to the EU probe, has so far imposed fines of more than $1.6 billion on 18 airlines and filed criminal charges against 14 airline executives for price fixing.
Air France-KLM paid the biggest U.S. fine of $350 million while British Airways and Korean Air were each fined $300 million.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.