(Adds remark from Air Canada)
BRUSSELS, March 17 (Reuters) - Air France-KLM,
British Airways and nine other airlines were hit with a
776 million euro ($835.5 million) fine by EU antitrust
regulators on Friday for taking part in an air cargo cartel more
than a decade ago.
The European Commission re-imposed the penalties after
Europe's second highest court in 2015 annulled the EU
executive's 2010 decision due to a procedural error.
The fines were unchanged for all the airlines except for the
amount due from Martinair - cut to 15.4 million euros ($16.53
million)from the 29.5 million euro ($31.67 million) amount set
Air France was fined 182.9 million euros ($196.32 million),
the highest, followed by KLM at 127.1 million ($136.43 million),
British Airways at 104.4 million ($112.06 million), Cargolux at
79.9 million ($85.76 million)and Singapore Airlines at
74.8 million ($80.29 million).
Other carriers penalised were Air Canada, Cathay
Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile
and SAS. Lufthansa, along with subsidiary
Swiss International Airlines, escaped a fine as it alerted the
cartel to the EU competition authority.
The Commission said it had fixed the procedural error cited
by the court.
"Working together in a cartel rather than competing to offer
better services to customers does not fly with the Commission,"
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a
SAS, with a 70 million ($75.14 million) fine, and Air
Canada, with a 21 million ($22.54 million) fine, have said they
would appeal the new decision.
"Air Canada will contest it vigorously," a spokeswoman for
the airline said by email.
The Commission in its 2010 finding said the cartel fixed air
freight services, fuel and security surcharges between December
1999 and February 2006.
The decision led to a series of damages claims against the
airlines from companies such as Germany's Deutsche Bahn,
carmaker BMW and car supplier Bosch.
($1 = 0.9288 euros)
($1 = 0.9316 euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, Philip Blenkinsop; additional
reporting by Niklas Pollard in Stockholm and Allison Lampert in
Montreal; Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek, Toby Davis and Chris