Monday, August 24, 2009

Price Fixing Probe Extends to NZ Air

Deputy CEO implicated in Emirates scandal
Shipping News Feature

NEW ZEALAND / AUSTRALIA – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to use emails from Air New Zealand’s deputy CEO, Norm Thompson, in its allegations concerning price fixing for air freight rates by a cartel of airlines despite the regulator not bringing charges against Air New Zealand itself.

According to Australia’s ‘The Age’ newspaper, communications between Mr Thompson and an executive from Emirates will be used as evidence in current proceedings against the Arab airline, which apparently show collusion between the two company’s starting in 2003 over rates for cargoes transported between Australia and New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has dismissed the accusations, with CEO Rob Fyfe issuing a memo to staff stating that no writ alleging wrongdoing has been issued by the ACCC against the airline.

The ACCC’s investigation has already fined a number of other airlines for price fixing and it remains to be seen if Air New Zealand can fully avoid this particular storm.