13 Oct 2012

Air NZ to defend charges of price-fixing

4:41 pm on 13 October 2012

Air New Zealand says it will defend charges of price fixing in the Federal Court in Australia next week.

The Australian Competition Consumer Commission is bringing cartel charges against a number of airlines - including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Thai Airways and Garuda Indonesia.

They are accused of illegally raising the price of freight by imposing fuel surcharges.

Emirates on Friday admitted its part in a global air-freight cartel and was fined $A10 million.

Emirates is the 10th airline to admit price fixing.

In a statement, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said total penalties ordered in Australia against international airlines involved in the cartel were $A68 million.

The ABC reports the proceedings in the Federal Court date back to 2009.

The case against the first four of the airlines is due to be heard in the Federal Court from 22 October.

Air New Zealand says it has been defending the charges for seven years and will continue to do so.