After five years of Air New Zealand defending its position and insisting it has done nothing wrong, US Department of Justice Federal Prosecutors have confirmed by letter that they have ended their investigation and Air New Zealand “is no longer a subject or target of the ongoing grand jury investigation”.
The end of the Department of Justice investigation follows successful outcomes for the airline last November when it was not among airlines fined by the European Commission and before that, confirmation from regulators in South Korea that Air New Zealand was not among airlines fined at the conclusion of their investigation.
Competition regulators around the world commenced investigations into the air cargo industry in 2005. Fines imposed to date on those airlines that have admitted guilt or been found guilty exceed one billion US dollars.
“Air New Zealand welcomes this further step as it continues to demonstrate its innocence in respect of the cartel allegations,” says Air New Zealand General Counsel John Blair.
“After years spent working to establish our innocence we are delighted with this decision of Department of Justice Prosecutors, recognising that Air New Zealand conducts its business affairs in compliance with the law.
“This brings a closure not only for the airline but also, importantly, to a few individuals who have had to live for more than five years under the threat of criminal penalties, despite the airline’s confidence in their innocence.
“Air New Zealand has conducted and continues to conduct its business affairs in compliance with the laws of the countries that it services,” says Mr Blair.