AUSTRALIA: Qantas settles US class action for $26.5M

Qantas Airways Ltd has agreed to pay US$26.5 million to resolve a class action in the US, the company said in a statement. The law suit was brought against a number of airlines in 2006 and alleged that they had struck an agreement “for the fixing, controlling or maintaining of the price of international air […]


Qantas Airways Ltd has agreed to pay US$26.5 million to resolve a class action in the US, the company said in a statement. The law suit was brought against a number of airlines in 2006 and alleged that they had struck an agreement “for the fixing, controlling or maintaining of the price of international air freight services”. Qantas said the settlement figure was based on its freight revenue to and from the US and the settlement releases it from claims made by all class members who were direct purchasers of air cargo services to or from the US from January 2000 to September 11 2006. Qantas also noted that it continues to cooperate fully with global antitrust regulators and has resolved its liability in the US, Australia, Canada, Korea and Europe for the improper conduct of its freight division. The carrier reached a settlement on cargo price-fixing charges with the US Department of Justice in 2008, paying a $61 million fine. One of its executives, former VP Freight-Americas Bruce McCaffrey, agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges related to fixing air cargo shipment rates and served eight months in jail. According to Qantas, other airlines that have reached class action settlements are: Air France/KLM ($87 million), Lufthansa ($85 million), Cargolux ($35.1 million), Scandinavian Airlines ($13.9 million), Japan Airlines ($12 million), All Nippon Airways ($10.4 million) and American Airlines ($5 million).