Airlines fined for running cargo cartel

Commission hands out €799 million in fines to 11 carriers.



The European Commission has fined 11 air cargo carriers a total of €799 million for running a worldwide cartel for six years.

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The airlines are Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, SAS, Singapore Airlines and Qantas. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss received full immunity under the Commission’s leniency programme as they were the first to provide information about the cartel. 

The Commission found that the airlines co-ordinated action on surcharges for fuel and security from December 1999 to February 2006. The companies agreed to ensure that worldwide airfreight carriers imposed a flat rate surcharge per kilo for shipments. The cartel members also introduced a security surcharge. 

Air France received the biggest fine (€182.92m) followed by KLM (€127.16m), British Airways (€104m), Singapore Airlines (€74.8m) and SAS (€70.17m).

Simon Taylor