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Air Cargo

Related Lawyers: Anthony Maton, Lesley Hannah, Tom Bolster, Brian A. Ratner
Related Practice Areas: Competition Disputes

In November 2010, the European Commission (“EC”) fined a group of 11 air cargo carriers a total of €799 million for operating a worldwide cartel which affected cargo services within the European Economic Area (“EEA”) between 1999 and 2006.  Among those companies named in the EC Decision as cartelists are Air Canada, Air France – KLM, Martinair, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Qantas, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines.

The Cartel

The cartel arrangements consisted of numerous contacts between airlines, at both bilateral and multilateral level, covering flights from, to and within the EEA. The cartelists co-ordinated the fuel and security surcharges applied to freight shipments.

This is one of several decisions following investigations by public authorities around the world. The airlines involved in the EC decision  have also been named as cartelists by competition authorities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa and Switzerland. Airlines providing airfreight services primarily offer the transport of cargo to freight forwarders, who arrange the carriage of these goods including associated services and formalities on behalf of shippers.

Our Actions

Hausfeld brought proceedings against British Airways in 2008 initially on behalf of a group of UK flower importers. However, the claimant group has now expanded to over 500 claimant entities, many of which are well known global companies.

If your organization purchased air cargo services from any airline between 1999 and 2007, then it can recover damages from the members of the cartel.

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