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Qantas reaches settlement on freight cartel role

 Qantas has agreed to pay a US$26.5 million settlement to resolve its liability under a US class action brought against a number of airlines for their participation in an air freight cartel.

“Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Qantas will pay US$26.5 million, which is based on Qantas’s freight revenue to/from the United States,” the airline said in a statement. “Qantas must also cooperate with the class action plaintiffs. In exchange, Qantas is released from claims made by all class members who were direct purchasers of air cargo services to or from the US from January 2000 to 11 September 2006.”

To date, a number of airlines have reached multi-million dollar settlements, including Air France/KLM (US$87 million), Lufthansa (US$85 million), Cargolux (US$35.1 million), Scandinavian Airlines (US$13.9 million), Japan Airlines (US$12 million), All Nippon Airways (US$10.4 million) and American Airlines (US$5 million).

Qantas has already been fined in Australia, Canada, Korea and Europe for its participation in the cartel, but still faces a $200 million class action in Australia.

More information on this case: Air Cargo

Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition