Wednesday, June 8, 2011

British Airways Agrees to Pay Compensation for Air Freight Price Fixing Cartel

Settles in US - UK Case Still Ongoing
Shipping News Feature

USA – In the ongoing saga that is the air freight price fixing scandal involving most of world’s major carriers, British Airways has become the latest operator to announce that they have offered to make a settlement to settle legal action taken by aggrieved American freight forwarders.

Subject to approval by a judge, the settlement means that BA will pay out a total of £54.5 million ($89.5 million) to hundreds of cargo customers who were victim to the international cartel that operated in the air freight industry between 2000 and 2006.

Three South American carriers have also agreed to settle cases against them for their involvement in the cartel’s activities in the U.S. - Chilean carriers Lan Airlines and Lan Cargo, as well as Aerolinhas Brasileiras of Brazil – to a total of $66 million between them.

The cartel operated by fixing prices for fuel surcharges on freight between them across the globe, and has led to a mass of fines from regulatory bodies across the world, including a huge €799.4 million ( $1.1 billion) penalty handed out by the European Commission in November last year (for details on more cases type ‘cartel’ into the HSG search bar).

Though British Airways' offer should settle their problems with litigation in the States the company still faces legal action in the U.K. by representatives of the British freight community seeking redress.