An appeals court here ruled on Thursday in support of the local fair trade watchdog's decision to fine 16 airlines for fuel surcharge price fixing.
The Seoul High Court rejected Thai Airways International's demand that the Fair Trade Commission withdraw its 2.1 billion won ($1.8 million) penalty imposed on the company for price fixing.
"We recognize that Thai Airways and other air cargo carriers made a deal to introduce and raise fuel surcharges," Judge Kwak Jong-hun of the court said.
The ruling has been closely watched, as it may affect a series of similar suits filed by other airlines involved in price-fixing schemes.
The commission imposed an estimated 120 billion won in fines against 16 air cargo carriers including Thai Airways and South Korea's two national flag carriers -- Korean Air and Asiana Airlines -- in November 2010, saying they fixed their airfares by introducing or raising fuel surcharges. (Yonhap News)