SAS welcomes EU court decision on fine

European court backs airline cargo cartel challenge
Europe’s second-highest court has backed a challenge by 11 airlines against an €800 million European Commission fine for alleged participation in a global cartel in the air cargo sector.
The General Court of the European Union says there are “internal inconsistencies” in the European Commission’s decision, which was made in 2010.
Air France had faced the biggest fine, €182.9 million, and KLM was fined €127.2 million. The two airlines merged in 2004 to create Air France-KLM.
Another carrier involved was SAS, which was fined €70.2 million. SAS appealed the decision in January 2011. It said in a statement yesterday, “If the European Commission chooses to appeal, SAS will continue to vigorously defend itself.”
Marie Wohlfahrt, general counsel at SAS: “The European Court’s judgment is in line with SAS’s position and shows that SAS was correct to proceed with this matter. SAS will now review the judgment to determine any further action, particularly in relation to the ongoing civil damages cases, which are largely based on the European Commission’s decision that has now been annulled.”
The other carriers involved are Air Canada, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Lufthansa escaped sanction after providing information to the Commission.

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