Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Air NZ penalty hearing adjourned

Last month the High Court ordered three further airlines pay a combined total of $9.6 million in penalties for their role in the air cargo cartel case. Photo / NZH
Last month the High Court ordered three further airlines pay a combined total of $9.6 million in penalties for their role in the air cargo cartel case. Photo / NZH

Air New Zealand was due in the High Court today for a penalty hearing in its long-running air cargo case with the Commerce Commission but the proceedings were adjourned until Friday.

The national carrier refused to comment last month on reports it was in talks with the commission about a possible resolution in the case, in which the regulator filed proceedings against 13 airlines in December 2008.

The commission in the proceedings alleged that the airlines colluded to impose fuel and security surcharges for air cargo shipments to and from New Zealand.

Lawyers for both Air New Zealand and the commission appeared in the High Court at Auckland today for a hearing which is subject to a confidentiality order.

Justice Christopher Allan allowed media to report the fixture scheduled for today was a penalty hearing and that the matter was adjourned until this Friday.

Last month the High Court ordered three further airlines pay a combined total of $9.6 million in penalties for their role in the air cargo cartel case, the commission said in a statement issued at the time.

This brought the total penalties in the case to over $35 million.

According to the commission, it received penalty judgments against Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd for $4.3 million, Thai Airways International PLC for $2.7 million, and MASkargo System Berhad Ltd for $2.6 million for price fixing in breach of the Commerce Act.

The commission said it has previously received penalties against seven other airlines: British Airways PLC, Cargolux Airlines International S.A, Emirates, Japan Airlines International Co. Limited, Korean Air Lines Co. Limited, Qantas Airways Limited, and Singapore Airlines Cargo.

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