HONG KONG's Cathay Pacific has agreed to pay US$4.4 million to settle Canadian litigation in a cargo anti-trust class action in which the carrier was a defendant.
The airline agreed to make the payment, subject to approval by the Canadian courts, without admitting any unlawful conduct, the carrier said in a filing to the Hong Kong Exchange, according to IHS Media.
Cathay Pacific has been subjected to anti-trust charges in several countries. In 2008, it was fined $60 million for collusion in air cargo prices with other airlines in a criminal anti-trust case in the US. Then in February last year, the airline agreed to pay $65 million to settle a US anti-trust class action suit.
Air cargo carriers came under scrutiny from anti-trust regulators back in 2006 when government officials from the US, Europe and Asia launched dawn raids to issue warrants and demand documents from dozens of airlines.
Led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the European Union competition directorate and South Korea's competition regulator, the investigation saw many airlines fined millions of dollars for price fixing in cargo contracts, with some executives spending a few years behind bars.
The European Commission in late 2011 announced fines for 11 cargo carriers for "operating a worldwide cartel." Included in the list were Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux, Japan Airlines, LAN, Martinair, SAS, Singapore Airlines and Qantas.
The fines totalled more than $845 million. According to the charges, the carriers coordinated various elements of pricing for a six-year period through February 2006, and that flights to and from Europe, and within the EU, were affected.
Source : HKSG.