JAPAN Airlines (JAL) has been fined US$1.8m after admitting price-fixing on cargo shipments in and out of New Zealand.
The country’s high court imposed the fine as part of a long-running case relating to fuel surcharge manipulation on international cargo flights between 2000 and 2006.
Competition watchdog Commerce Commission New Zealand, says JAL agreed to admit liability and pay the penalty as part of a pre-trial settlement between the regulator and the carrier.
JAL is the fourth airline, along with British Airways, Qantas and Cargolux International, to settle with the commission, paying fines totalling $13m.
Several other carriers – including Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways – who have been accused of colluding on fuel and security surcharges are contesting the charges.
The case against them is due to go to court in March 2013.
JAL has experienced an upturn in its financial fortunes since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and then undergoing a major restructuring programme.
Revenue from the carrier’s international cargo operations rose to US$671.2m in the last financial year.
The group, which also recorded a $312.5m hike in domestic shipments, now plans to relist its shares on the Tokyo Exchange.