Cargolux, with headquarters in Luxembourg, Japan’s Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) and Korea’s Asiana have agreed to plead guilty to charges brought by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and pay the fines. In addition, Asiana is charged with fixing passenger fares on flights from the US to Korea. The criminal fines for fixing cargo prices to be paid are $119 million by Cargolux, $45 million by NCA and $50 million by Asiana.
Specific wording of charges levied against the carriers indicate they participated, “in meetings, conversations and communications in the United States and elsewhere to discuss the cargo rates to be charged on certain routes to and from the United States.” Further they agreed, “during those meetings, conversations and communications, on certain components of the air cargo rates to charge for shipments on certain routes to and from the United States.” That they subsequently engaged, “in meetings, conversations and communications in the United States and elsewhere for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon cargo rates.”
These cases are part on an ongoing investigation into the air transportation industry. It is being conducted by DoJ’s Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and US Postal Service Office of the Inspector General.
"Fifteen airlines and three executives have been prosecuted to date for their participation in price-fixing agreements that inflicted a heavy toll on American businesses and consumers as well as the global economy," claims Scott D. Hammond, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of DoJ’s Antitrust Division. "The Department will continue its investigation into this criminal conduct until all co-conspirators are brought to justice."