SAD SAGA

– Elsewhere in this issue there are further details about the massive fines that the US Department of Justice last month imposed on Air France KLM, Cathay Pacific Airways, Martinair and SAS Group. All airlines reached agreement with the DOJ to plead guilty in US court and pay criminal fines “for participating in a multiyear […]


– Elsewhere in this issue there are further details about the massive fines that the US Department of Justice last month imposed on Air France KLM, Cathay Pacific Airways, Martinair and SAS Group. All airlines reached agreement with the DOJ to plead guilty in US court and pay criminal fines “for participating in a multiyear conspiracy to fix prices for air cargo rates.”

Not mincing its words, the DOJ described the international carriers as “criminals”, who together with Lufthansa, British Airways, Korean Air, Japan Airlines and Qantas in the past few months have boosted the DOJ coffers with a total of US$1.27 billion in fines.

Not surprisingly, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation concluded that these fines will be passed on to shareholders and, in some cases, tax payers in the form of lower dividends.

Sadly, this saga which comes at the time when airlines, faced with unrealistic fuel prices, could find better use for the millions of dollars, than paying the DOJ fines.

Even sadder is the fact that in this entire drama only one personal criminal charge has been laid and the sacrificial lamb, Bruce McCaff rey, Qantas’ former highest-ranking US-based executive, will serve eight months in a US prison.