Airlines appeal Euro cartel fine

AIR Canada, British Airways World Cargo, Cargolux and Cathay Pacific have appealed against the European Commission’s (EC) cargo price-fixing fine.

The four airlines and seven others – Air France-KLM, Japan Airlines, LAN, Martinair, SAS, Singapore Airlines and Qantas – were fined a total of €799 million (US$1.09 billion) by the EC last November. The EC accused the airlines of “operating a worldwide cartel” from 2000 to 2006.

In a statement Cathay, which was fined €57 million ($78 million), said: “The appeal was filed with the General Court of the European Union, and follows an appeal Cathay Pacific filed in the Seoul High Court in December 2010 challenging a similar decision by the Korean Fair Trade Commission.”

A Cathay spokesperson subsequently commented: “We believe we have good grounds for making these appeals, but, as these matters are being litigated, we are not in a position to provide additional information at this stage.”

The EC reduced Cathay’s fine by 20 per cent for its cooperation during the investigation. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss were granted full immunity. Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cargolux, SAS and Singapore Airlines were those with the heaviest penalties.

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