EU fines Air France-KLM, British Airways, and 9 other airlines 776 million euros

Air France-KLM, British Airways and nine other airlines were hit with a 776 million euro ($835.5 million) fine by EU antitrust regulators on Friday (March 17) for taking part in an air cargo cartel more than a decade ago.

The European Commission re-imposed the penalties after Europe’s second highest court in 2015 annulled the EU executive’s 2010 decision due to a procedural error. The Commission in its 2010 finding said the cartel fixed air freight services, fuel and security surcharges between December 1999 and February 2006. The Commission said it had fixed the procedural error cited by the court.

The fines were unchanged for all the airlines except for the amount due from Martinair, cut to 15.4 million euros from the 29.5 million euro amount set in 2010.

Air France was fined 182.9 million euros, the highest, followed by KLM at 127.1 million, British Airways at 104.4 million, Cargolux at 79.9 million and Singapore Airlines at 74.8 million.

Other carriers penalized were Air Canada, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile and SAS. SAS said it would appeal against the new decision. Lufthansa, along with subsidiary Swiss International Airlines, escaped a fine as it alerted the EU competition authority about the cartel.



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