Japan Airlines International has been ordered to pay a $5.5 million penalty for its involvement in price a fixing cartel.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the result from the Federal Court in Melbourne today brought total pecuniary penalties from seven international airlines involved in the cartel to $46.5 million.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said the outcome sent a clear message that the watchdog would not stop in its endeavours to bring an end to illegal price fixing.
The watchdog started proceedings against Japan Airlines in May last year, alleging it had reached understandings with other international airlines over fuel surcharges between December 2003 and October 2005 and insurance and security charges between January 2003 and October 2006.
The airline is co-operating with the ACCC, admitting to making and giving effect to illegal price fixing understandings with other airlines.
"The company has agreed to facilitate further assistance from JAL personnel and to provide access to additional documents for use against other respondents," Mr Samuel said. "This cooperation has earned it a significant discount on the penalty that otherwise would have been sought."
Japan Airlines was also ordered to pay costs of $200,000.
The ACCC is continuing proceedings against Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean Air Lines, Air New Zealand and Thai Airways International.
Proceedings against Garuda and Malaysian Air Lines are stayed pending the outcome of an appeal.