The Australian Federal Court in Sydney has fined Qantas $20m and British Airways $5m for price fixing in the airfreight market.
The case was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following co-ordinated raids of premises in Europe and the USA in February 2006.
The commission alleged that Qantas reached an understanding with other international airlines in relation to the imposition of fuel surcharges on air cargo across its global networks between 2002 and early 2006.
Qantas admitted to “making and giving effect to the understanding, repeatedly exchanging assurances among airlines in the implementation of fuel surcharge increases and reaching local agreements in certain Asian countries collectively”.
In the case of British Airways, The commission alleged that the airline reached an understanding with Lufthansa Cargo in relation to the imposition of fuel surcharges on some of its international air cargo services between 2002 and early 2006.
British Airways admitted it arrived at an illegal understanding with Lufthansa providing for the exchange of information relating to the proposed application by each of them of a fuel surcharge on some of their international air cargo services and, that in arriving at and giving effect to that understanding, it had the purpose and effect of fixing a component of the price (ie the fuel surcharge) for the supply of international air cargo services.