Singapore Airlines Defends ACCC Cartel Claims

Submitted by Share Trading on 23 December, 2008 - 07:59

Singapore Airlines (SIA), the national airline of Singapore, has defended the claims made by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that, it has broken the law by setting high freights and securities surcharges. The competition regulator said that, Singapore Airlines has imposed high charges on the Australian exporters for sending the goods to Middle East.

ACCC has already sued Qantas Airways (QAN) and British Airways (BAY) and extracted a fine of A$25 totally. The ACCC is investigating other airlines and some are assisting voluntarily while others are not. Graeme Samuel, chairman of ACCC, announced yesterday that a new legal action is against Singapore Airlines. He also revealed that "The ACCC expects to be able to finalize its investigations with a number of airlines shortly".

The spokes man of SIA said that, "SIA Cargo is committed to competing successfully and fairly, within the requirements of the relevant competition law in Australia. With the matter now before the court, it would be inappropriate for SIA Cargo to comment in any more detail at this stage". He also said that "SIA Cargo will defend allegations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it, and several other airlines, have engaged in cartel conduct".

Singapore Airlines is also accused of reaching separate deals in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. There is also a speculation that SIA has colluded with Malaysia Airlines to increase charges for sending Australian meat to the Middle East in 2003. In the claims against the SIA, ACCC has said that the Airline Company had an agreement with Lufthansa, a German airline and other airlines to impose a security surcharge on global air freight in 2001. New Zealand's Commerce Commission has also begun to take legal action on Australian airline and 12 other airlines for allegedly fixing prices.