Air NZ settles in US antitrust lawsuit

An Air New Zealand Boeing 787

Air New Zealand is the latest carrier to settle as part of an antitrust lawsuit over price-fixing after agreeing to payout $35 million.

The settlement is subject to court approval by United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and it is the 27th to be made in the last decade.

Legal firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, one of the four co-lead counsel representing a class of direct purchasers from defendants says the total now settled for by air cargo carriers exceeds $1.2 billion.

Defendants are seeking settlements of air cargo shipping services for shipments to or from the US between 1 January, 2000, and 30 September, 2006, and are seeking compensation for alleged overcharges sustained as a result of a price-fixing conspiracy.

Of the 26 defendant groups totaling more than $1.2 billion, of which settlements with 24 defendant groups for $1.04 billion have been granted final approval by the court.

Settlements with Air China  and Air China Cargo and Polar Air Cargo, Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, and Atlas Air Worldwide reaching $150 million have been granted preliminary approval by the court.

Polar Air Cargo, which along with Polar Air Cargo Worldwide and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has agreed on a $100 million settlement.

Korean Air has paid out the most at $115 million, followed by Polar Air Cargo, while other high settlements have included EVA Airways at $99 million, Singapore Airlines at $92 million, China Airlines at $90 million, British Airways at $89 million, Lufthansa at $85 million, and Air France-KLM-Martinair for $87 million.

This litigation case is still pending against Air India.