Air NZ, Garuda beat cargo collusion rap

New Zealand’s Federal Court has dismissed an attempt by the country’s consumer watchdog to sue Air New Zealand and Garuda Indonesia for fixing airfreight prices and surcharges in Asia as part of an alleged cartel.


Air NZ Garuda beat cargo collusion rap


New Zealand’s Federal Court has dismissed an attempt by the country’s consumer watchdog to sue Air New Zealand and Garuda Indonesia for fixing airfreight prices and surcharges in Asia as part of an alleged cartel. The two airlines were the only carriers still fighting the price-fixing allegations, which were part of a global campaign by regulators that has led to heavy penalties against a number of operators, including Qantas.

The case against Air NZ and Garuda had been running since 2010 and related to agreements in Hong Kong and Singapore between 2000 and 2006 to fix fuel, security and insurance surcharges. While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had fined 10 airlines nearly $100 million for price fixing, Air NZ and Garuda defended the allegations at a trial.

The court concluded that a number of collusive arrangements were made, but not in a market in Australia as defined by legislation at the time. Air NZ said the airlines had argued that any agreements that may have been in place were appropriately authorised by the relevant regulators outside the Australian market. Air NZ general counsel John Blair said the decision was important in aviation because international operators needed legal clarity of the boundaries of the markets in which they worked.