Cargolux, Asiana, Nippon Cargo Will Pay Fines
The US Department of Justice said Thursday three more global
cargo airlines admitted to fixing prices, bringing the total number
of airlines to plead guilty to collusion charges to 15.
Cargolux Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines and Asiana Airlines
will pay a combined $214 million in fines, reports The Associated
Press. Each also agreed to cooperate with the DOJ's ongoing
investigation into the massive collusion case; similar arrangements
were made in January for three other airlines -- LAN Cargo,
Aerolinhas Brasileiras and El Al Airlines.
In all, 15 airlines and three executives have pleaded guilty --
or made arrangements to do so -- in the DOJ's two-year
investigation, amounting to fines in excess of $1.6 billion.
Although individual circumstances vary, each of the airlines
indicted were accused of colluding to fix cargo -- and, in some
cases, passenger -- prices on certain routes. In August 2007,
British Airways Plc pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $300
million criminal fine for conspiring to fix cargo rates for
international air shipments, including to and from the United
States, and conspiring to fix passenger fuel surcharges for
long-haul international air transportation, including between the
United States and United Kingdom.
The same day, Korean Air Lines pleaded guilty and was sentenced
to pay a $300 million criminal fine for conspiring to fix cargo
rates charged to customers in the United States and elsewhere for
international air shipments and conspiring to fix wholesale and
passenger fares for flights from the United States to Korea.
In January 2008, Qantas Airways Limited pleaded guilty and was
sentenced to pay a $61 million criminal fine for its role in a
conspiracy to fix cargo rates to customers in the United States and
elsewhere for international air shipments. In May 2008, Japan
Airlines followed suit... and was sentenced to pay a $110 million
criminal fine for conspiring to fix rates for international cargo
Other airlines charged in the collusion scheme include Air
France, KLM Royal Dutch, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Martinair
and SAS Cargo.