Commission drops some airline charges

The Commerce Commission has dropped charges against two international airlines for failing to hand over information as it prepares to go to court in its long-running investigation into air cargo charges.

The competition regulator said yesterday it had withdrawn charges against Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways, after earlier alleging the companies had failed to provide necessary documentation to its investigation, which was looking into possible cartel activity by some of the world's biggest airlines.

The airlines still face charges in relation to the commission's allegation that air cargo charges were fixed over a seven-year period.

Under the Commerce Act, the commission can compel companies to hand over information as part of an investigation.

It said the matter had been resolved and the airlines had provided "further relevant information".

Commission lawyer Mary-Anne Borrowdale said: "We are pleased the issue is resolved. It is important that businesses respond to the Commerce Commission's requests for information promptly and comprehensively, so that we can conduct a thorough investigation and have the best possible information to base our decisions on."

Cathay's New Zealand manager, David Figgins, said the matter related to a dispute over what information the airline could provide locally.