The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has annulled a EUR3.9 million euro (USD4.26 million dollar) fine imposed on Air France, Air France-KLM, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in relation to a decades-old alleged cargo cartel that has ensnared multiple airlines and their subsidiaries.

A January 18 statement issued by Air France's legal team, Linklaters, said the court annulled the Swiss Competition Commission-issued fine in a December 20 judgement. "The Federal Administrative Court accepted Air France's arguments, particularly regarding the lack of jurisdiction for certain practices," the statement read.

Notably, the matter concerned only the three entities, with Martinair (Netherlands), British Airways, Air Canada, JAL - Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, LATAM Airlines, and Cargolux not being party to the proceedings. The case stemmed from alleged cargo cartel activity between 1999 and 2006 among the carriers. In 2010, the European Commission began issuing a series of fines to the airlines for the alleged fixing of air cargo charges, many of which have been successfully overturned or reduced. However, the recent Swiss Federal Administrative Court decision dealt with a fine issued in December 2013.

Per AirCargoNews, to date, British Airways, Air Canada, SAS Cargo, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines Group, LATAM Cargo Chile, and Cathay Pacific have overturned or successfully reduced their cartel-related fines. Lufthansa and Swiss avoided fines because of their whistleblower roles.