11 Apr 2009

Three foreign carriers to pay fines in cargo probe

8:23 am on 11 April 2009

Three more foreign carriers are to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices in the air cargo industry. US prosecutors say they will pay a total of $US214 million in fines.

According to a statement issued on Thursday, Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International SA, Japan-based Nippon Cargo Airlines Company Ltd and Korean carrier Asiana Airlines Inc have also agreed to cooperate with an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department.

The agreements are subject to court approval.

They follow a similar announcement by the Justice Department in January in which Chilean company LAN Cargo SA, Aerolinhas Brasileiras SA, a Brazilian company substantially owned by LAN Cargo; and Israel's El Al Airlines said they would pay a total of $US124.7 million in fines and plead guilty to price fixing on air cargo shipments.

Fifteen airlines and three executives have now pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in the investigation.

So far, the companies have paid or agreed to pay fines totaling more than $US1.6 billion.

Other airlines that pleaded guilty include: British Airways PLC, Korean Air Lines Ltd, Qantas Airways Ltd, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Japan Airlines International Company, Martinair Holland NV and SAS Cargo Group A/S.