Saudi proposes cargo fix settlement

SAUDI Arabian Airlines has agreed to pay US$14 million to settle claims that it conspired to inflate the price of air cargo shipments.

The agreement with Saudi airlines stems from claims filed by direct purchasers of airfreight shipping services who accused the airlines of conspiring to raise freight rates between 2000 and 2006.

The settlement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is also significant because it has not pleaded guilty to violations of antitrust laws in the US, unlike the majority of the other settling airline groups.

If Saudi’s proposal is approved by US district judge John Gleeson, it would mean that 14 airline groups named in the class-action price fixing litigation have settled or agreed to settle, bringing the total amount of proposed settlements to $454.4 million. Of that amount, $278.4 million already has been approved by the court.

To date, 22 airlines and 21 company executives have been charged in the criminal investigation, which has resulted in more than $1.8 billion in fines. Fourteen airlines are yet to face civil litigation.

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