20 Mar 2009

Air NZ goes to court over price-fixing cartel inquiry

3:14 pm on 20 March 2009

Air New Zealand is seeking a judicial review over an alleged refusal by the Commerce Commission to provide the airline with any evidence it has been involved in a price-fixing cartel over air freight.

The commission is conducting an investigating whether Air New Zealand, some of its employees and 12 other airlines operating in this country colluded over fuel surcharges in the air cargo industry.

Air NZ general counsel John Blair says the commission is refusing to divulge what information it has and will not allow the airline to question its employees about what the commission asked them when they were interviewed.

Mr Blair says Air New Zealand has told the commission for the past three years it has never condoned anti-competitive behaviour.

He says an extensive internal inquiry has found no such activity and litigation could take another three years.

Mr Blair says the papers were filed with the High Court on Thursday and expects to obtrain a court date within weeks.