DoJ drops Air NZ cartel charges

THE US Department of Justice (DoJ) has dropped all cargo price-fixing charges against Air New Zealand. In a letter the DoJ confirmed the carrier “is no longer a subject or target of the ongoing grand jury investigation”.

The investigation has been running for five years and the company has always protested its innocence even as other airlines and their executives were successfully prosecuted, paying over US$1 billion in fines.

“Air New Zealand welcomes this further step as it continues to demonstrate its innocence in respect of the cartel allegations,” said its lawyer, John Blair.

“After years spent working to establish our innocence we are delighted with this decision of Department of Justice prosecutors, recognising that Air New Zealand conducts its business affairs in compliance with the law.

“This brings a closure not only for the airline but also, importantly, to a few individuals who have had to live for more than five years under the threat of criminal penalties, despite the airline’s confidence in their innocence.

“Air New Zealand has conducted and continues to conduct its business affairs in compliance with the laws of the countries that it services,” added Blair.

The airline has also recently been cleared of similar charges in Europe and South Korea.

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