El Al pays damages for cargo conspiracy
28 / 05 / 2012
EL Al Israel Airlines will pay US$15.8m to settle a US class-action suit filed against it in February 2007.
The carrier became the 16th airline to settle after partaking in price-fixing between 2000 and 2006.
The first payment of $9.8m must be paid within 30 days of the signing of the settlement. The balance of $6m will be paid in five equal instalments of $1.2m by the end of 2016.
The lawsuit was filed by international freight forwarders, which purchased cargo services and claimed they had been harmed by paying inflated freight rates for air transportation because of collusion by air carriers on surcharges, the elimination or prevention of discounts and commissions.
The parties agreed that the settlement shall not be construed as an admission by El Al of the claims against it or as evidence of their correctness.
A dozen more airlines remain defendants in the case, being tried in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The three largest European airlines: British Airways, Air France/KLM/Martinair and Lufthansa have already settled the legal claim and paid the largest restitution, $89m. To date more than US$1.8 billion in fines have been imposed.