FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2009
TDD (202) 514-1888
LAN CARGO S.A., AEROLINHAS BRASILEIRAS S.A. AND EL AL ISRAEL
AIRLINES LTD. AGREE TO PLEAD GUILTY FOR FIXING PRICES
ON AIR CARGO SHIPMENTS
Companies Agree to Pay More Than $124 Million in Criminal Fines
WASHINGTON — Three air cargo carriers, LAN Cargo S.A. (LAN Cargo), Aerolinhas
Brasileiras S.A. (ABSA), and EL AL Israel Airlines Ltd. (EL AL), have each agreed to plead
guilty and pay criminal fines totaling $124.7 million for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices
in the air cargo industry, the Department of Justice announced today. Under the plea
agreements, LAN Cargo, a Chilean company, and ABSA, a Brazilian company that is
substantially owned by LAN Cargo, have agreed to pay a single criminal fine of $109 million.
EL AL, an Israeli company, has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $15.7 million.
Including today’s charges, a total of 12 airlines and three executives have pleaded guilty
or agreed to plead guilty in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into price fixing in
the air transportation industry. To date, more than $1 billion in criminal fines have been
imposed and executives have been sentenced to serve a total of 20 months in jail.
According to the charges filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia, each airline engaged in a conspiracy in the United States and elsewhere to eliminate
competition by fixing the cargo rates charged to customers for international air shipments,
including to and from the United States. LAN Cargo and ABSA are charged with engaging in
the conspiracy from in or about February 2003 and continuing until at least Feb. 14, 2006. EL
AL is charged with engaging in the conspiracy from in or about January 2003 until at least Feb.
14, 2006. The plea agreements are subject to court approval. Each airline has agreed to
cooperate with the Department’s ongoing investigation.
“American consumers were forced to pay higher prices on the goods they buy eve