19 Mar 2011

Air NZ defends cartel claims

6:58 am on 19 March 2011

Air New Zealand is hitting back at the Commerce Commission over cartel behaviour in the cargo industry.

The commission was taking legal action against 13 international airlines, including Air New Zealand, claiming they colluded to raise the price of freight by imposing fuel surcharges for more than seven years.

The commission says it has reached settlements with Qantas, British Airways and Cargolux, who have admitted liability.

However, Air New Zealand general counsel John Blair says no illegality has been uncovered on its part and the commission has failed to mention that.

Mr Blair says it is wrong of the commission to imply that all airlines in all jurisdictions are guilty and simply awaiting trial.

The case against the ten remaining airlines heads to court in May.