Three Airlines Settle Price-Fixing Case With New Zealand

Three Airlines Settle Price-Fixing Case With New Zealand

MASkargo, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways International have settled with the New Zealand Commerce Commission for fixing air cargo prices between February 2000 and February 2006, paying AU$9.6 million (about US$9.9 million) total in penalties, Perth Now reports.

MASkargo, the air cargo unit of Malaysia Airlines, paid NZ$2.6 million (about US$2.2 million) in fines, according to The Star. The New Zealand High Court ordered MASkargo to make the payment in four installments over 18 months and contribute about $217,697 for court costs, payable within two weeks. MASkargo is also required to pay $336,113 for NZCC’s investigation costs, also payable in four installments over 18 months. In total, MASkargo has to pay 8.56 million Malaysian ringgits (about US$2.8 million), with the payments guaranteed by MAS.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, MAS said the NZCC had made orders consistent with an agreement between the commission, MAS and MASkargo to settle the air freight litigation.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific was ordered to pay $3.5 million in penalties and Thai Airways International was fined $2.8 million, according to the NZCC.

The litigation with the three air freight carriers follows previous settlements by British Airways, Cargolux, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines Cargo. Air New Zealand is the only airline that has not settled its penalty; it is reportedly discussing a potential resolution with the regulator.

“The penalties are a reminder to both New Zealand and overseas-based companies that colluding on prices is illegal and may result in substantial penalties under the Commerce Act,” Mark Berry, NZCC’s chairman, told a Perth Now reporter.