British Airways settles price fixing class action for $89.5 million

Posted on: August 20th, 2012 by Steve Larson

British Airways got final court approval for a settlement in a six-year-long class action lawsuit by shippers over the carriers’ involvement in a cartel that fixed fuel surcharges for air cargo.  Under the agreement, approved by a  court in New York, British Airways will pay $89.5 million.

Chile’s LAN cargo, Air Canada, El Al, Emirates, Saudi Arabian Airlines, South African Airways, and Malaysia Airlines will pay a combined $93 million.  This is the third settlement in the lawsuit and brings total payments so far to $485 million.

The lawsuit followed criminal investigations in the U.S., the European Union, Canada, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand into an alleged global price-fixing cartel in 2000-2006 involving more than 24 airlines.

The EU fined 11 airlines, including BA, Air France-KLM and Cargolux, $1.1 billion in 2010 for their role in the cartel.  The U.S. so far has fined more than 20 airlines more than $1.7 billion.