A former senior Qantas Airways executive has agreed to plead guilty and spend eight months in jail for taking part in an international cargo price-fixing conspiracy that is still being investigated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ says in a statement that Bruce McCaffrey, former Qantas VP of freight for the Americas, has agreed to plead guilty, spend eight months in jail and pay a criminal fine of $20,000 “for participating in a conspiracy to fix rates for international air cargo shipments”.

McCaffrey is the first person to be charged in the DOJ’s ongoing investigation of price-fixing in international air cargo shipments. Late last year Qantas agreed to plead guilty and pay a $61 million criminal fine for price-fixing related to its air cargo operations.

British Airways, Japan Airlines and Korean Air have also paid fines and many other airlines are still being investigated by both the DOJ and European authorities.

The DOJ says McCaffrey, who was the highest-ranking cargo executive employed in the USA by Australia’s Qantas, has agreed to continue co-operating in its ongoing investigation. His plea agreement remains subject to court approval.

DOJ Antitrust Division assistant attorney general Thomas Barnett says: “The air transportation of products for both businesses and consumers is a critical piece of the global economy. The Department remains dedicated to aggressively pursuing those who conspire to cheat American businesses and consumers with price-fixing schemes.”

Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International