China Airlines reaches $90 M accord to settle antitrust claims over air cargo shipments
May 09, 2014 01:43 PM EDT
A $90 million agreement has been reached between China Airlines and plaintiffs of a lawsuit to settle claims that the company had fixed prices on air cargo shipments, Bloomberg reported. China Airlines is the latest carrier that had opted to settle antitrust claims. Yesterday, the shipping customers who had brought the suit against the Chinese company had sought the approval of the settlement from a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York. Lawyers for the customers had said that the accord with the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based carriers brings to total value of the settled cases to over $835 million.
In a statement, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs Hollis Salzman said, The latest agreement "brings additional compensation to the many thousands of businesses harmed by this global conspiracy to inflate prices for air-shipping services."
Aside from the $90 million, the complainants said that China Airlines has agreed to provide $200,000 for to cover administration and settlement notice costs and that the carrier also agreed to cooperate in the case they have launched against the other remaining carriers.
In the 2006 lawsuit, shipping customers sued air cargo carriers for their alleged fixing of prices through fuel and security cost-related surcharges following the harrowing September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. Airline companies Lufthansa Cargo AG, Societe Air France, Qantas Airways Ltd. and British Airways Plc has already agreed to settle the claims via accords, according to settlement filings. The complainants said that settlements with 18 airlines have received final approval from the judge, while settlements with 3 others have received preliminary approval.
Salzman said that claims in the civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn against seven airlines remained outstanding. The airlines that have yet to settle are Air China Ltd, Air India Ltd, Eva Airways Corp, Asiana Airlines Inc, Air New Zealand Ltd, Nippon Cargo Airlines Co and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc's Polar Air Cargo.