Australian lawsuit against Qantas gets go ahead

AUSTRALIA’S Federal Court has given permission for a group lawsuit for cargo price fixing to proceed. The ruling overturns a lower court’s earlier dismissal of case.

Auskay International Manufacturing & Trade, a manufacturer of central vacuum systems, claimed in the original 2007 lawsuit that Qantas Airways, along with Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, conspired to fix rates for international air cargo shipments between January 2000 to January 2007.

“After several years, we can move forward,” said Brooke Dellavedova, a Melbourne lawyer at Maurice Blackburn that is representing Auskay. “We’re very happy with the decision.”

Qantas said it would consider the decision and comment shortly.

Auskay is leading the lawsuit that represents all Australians who paid more than A$20,000 (US$18,000) to forward cargo by the airlines over the period.

In 2007, Qantas agreed to pay a $61 million fine in the US and in 2008 A$20 million in penalties in Australia for similar crimes.

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