The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has begun legal action against Korean Air (KAL) in Australia for alleged price fixing in the air cargo industry.

It alleges that between 2001 and 2006, KAL "entered into arrangements or understandings with other international air cargo carriers that had the purpose or effect of fixing the price of a fuel surcharge, a security surcharge and a customs fee that were applied to air cargo" carried by KAL and other airlines.

"The ACCC alleges that the arrangements or understandings were reached in Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong for surcharges applied to cargo originating in those countries and in Indonesia for a customs fee applied to cargo originating in that country," says the commission.

A hearing has been set on 1 April in Sydney's Federal Court, it adds. The commission is seeking declarations, injunctive relief, pecuniary penalties and costs, it says.

KAL is the 12th carrier that the commission has taken legal action against for alleged price fixing.

Legal proceedings against Singapore Airlines Cargo, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways International are ongoing, says the ACCC.

In previous cases, six airlines were ordered to pay A$41 million ($37 million) in penalties after they were taken to court by the ACCC.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news