BA fined €104m over cargo cartel

British Airways, Air France-KLM and nine other airlines have been fined €779m (£672m) for fixing air cargo prices over a six-year period, while Germany's Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Swiss, escaped penalties for bringing the cartel to the European Commission's attention.

BA faced a penalty of €104m, while Air France-KLM, along with subsidiary Martinair, was fined €340m – the biggest in the case. Singapore Airlines, SAS, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Air Canada and Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines also were fined as part of the inquiry.

"It is deplorable that so many major airlines co-ordinated their pricing to the detriment of European businesses and European consumers," the EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said, adding: "The commission is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate cartel behaviour."