DB Schenker sues airlines for alleged price fuel fixing

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DB Schenker is suing a number of air cargo carriers, including Air France-KLM and SAS Cargo Group, claiming they fixed airfreight fuel charges.

Schenker says the carriers, “illegally conspired to fix fuel and security surcharges,” for airfreight shipments from, to, and within the US beginning in 1999 and until at least 2006.

The company filed the complaint with a New York federal court and is seeking damages, the amount of which has not yet been determined, from Air France-KLM, Martinair, Cargolux, Qantas, SAS and All Nippon Airways. In the proceedings, initiated by the US government’s Department of Justice, all the defendants named in the Schenker complaint entered a guilty plea with settlement agreements, however Schenker opted out of the settlement and is pursuing further damages.

Schenker says: “A number of worldwide competition authorities, including the European Commission, have found that numerous air cargo carriers were involved in a global price-fixing conspiracy to the detriment of freight forwarders and have imposed substantial fines on the companies involved.” 

Air France-KLM tells Air Cargo Week (ACW) the company was unable to comment on the matter due it being, “very technical on a legal point”. Cargolux says: “Cargolux is being targeted alongside other airlines by the DB Schenker US lawsuit, but cannot provide any further comment.” The other airlines were not available.

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