Another price-fixing probe begs the question: What is going on out there?

The news today that the UK’s Office of Fair Trading has launched a price-fixing probe into the alleged activities of Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific Airways on the London-Hong Kong route will make uncomfortable reading for airline executives everywhere.

With the recent news agenda dominated by the ash cloud and the past 2 years dominated by the downturn, the spate of stories on passenger and cargo fixing had all but died down.

But it has re-emerged, and many will be asking what else is going on out there? Is this practice more widespread than anyone believed?

Unfortunately for Virgin Atlantic it is in the headlines once again over price-fixing. This time the roles are reversed, for Cathay has “blown the whistle”. It was Virgin that blew the whistle on British Airways over price-fixing of long-haul fuel surcharges back in 2006.

Don’t forget either the cargo price-fixing cases that involved scores of carriers – this dates back to 2006 as well.

In the cargo probes the fines are stacking up.

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