IATA claims no part in cartel

IATA denies that it had any part to play in the air cargo cartel that South Africa is currently investigating.

Last week South Africa announced that it was considering whether to prosecute eight airlines for their alleged part in a decade long conspiracy to defraud forwarders on cargo fuel surcharges.

IATA has since announced that it was not involved.

“That the airlines involved in the [Competition] Commission’s inquiry are members of IATA does not and should not imply any IATA involvement,” said Anthony Concil, director corporate communications at IATA, adding that neither IATA nor any of its officers or employees were implicated in the investigation.

The Commission’s investigators allege that the cartel colluded to fix fuel surcharges on airfreight between 1996 and 2006. Now it is up to the Competition Tribunal whether to bring charges against Air France-KLM, Alitalia, British Airways, Cargolux, Lufthansa, Martinair, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways.

The investigation suggests that the IATA-affiliated carriers came to their decision to set prices due to their relationship with each other.

Concil denies this. “IATA has never operated a mechanism for determining fuel surcharges and it has absolutely no involvement in the setting of fuel surcharges. IATA has consistently advised its member airlines that fuel surcharges must be determined by each airline individually in the unilateral exercise of its business judgement and in compliance will all relevant laws.”

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