AUSTRALIA: Global price-fixing scandal claims first victim

The global anti-trust investigation that continues to rock the air cargo industry as carrier after carrier is hauled up for their alleged roles in what is being portrayed as a global price fixing cartel, has found its first individual player. Bruce McCaffrey, who was formerly the vice-president in charge of freight operations in the US […]


The global anti-trust investigation that continues to rock the air cargo industry as carrier after carrier is hauled up for their alleged roles in what is being portrayed as a global price fixing cartel, has found its first individual player.

Bruce McCaffrey, who was formerly the vice-president in charge of freight operations in the US for Qantas, has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment and fi ned US$21,000 by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for his involvement in the price fixing cartel.

McCaffrey is one of six past and present employees of the airline – euphemistically known as the ‘Qantas Six’, who have been charged over the scandal, which is thought to have run for six years starting in 2000 and is the first individual to be sentenced regarding the cartel.

McCaffrey, who ran Qantas’ Australia-US cargo route for 20 years, entered a plea bargain with the authorities. He could have faced up to a US$1.06 million fi ne and up to 10 years imprisonment. According to the case, he was involved with “meetings, conversations and communications in the US and elsewhere to discuss the cargo rates to be charged on certain routes to and from the US”.