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Qantas settles US class action lawsuit

Qantas has reached a settlement, subject to court approval, to resolve its liability under a class action that began in the US in 2006.

The class action was brought against a number of airlines regarding the activities of their freight divisions.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Qantas will pay US$265 million, which is based on the airline's freight revenue to/from the US Qantas must also cooperate with the class action plaintiffs.

In exchange, Qantas is released from claims made by all class members who were direct purchasers of air cargo services to or from the US between January 2000 and September 11th, 2006.

To date, the following airlines have reached settlement agreements:

  • Air France/KLM - US$87 million
  • Lufthansa - US$85 million
  • Cargolux - US$351 million
  • Scandinavian Airlines - US$139 million
  • Japan Airlines - US$12 million
  • All Nippon Airways - US$104 million
  • American Airlines - US$5 million

Separately from the US class action settlement, Qantas continues to cooperate fully with global antitrust regulators and has resolved its liability (and that of its current employees) in the US, Australia, Canada, Korea and Europe for the improper conduct of its freight division.

  • The US Dept of Justice's Antitrust division fined Qantas $61 million, and Qantas Freight's ex-VP Bruce McCaffrey was ordered to pay a fine of US$20,000 and spend a few months in prison.
  • The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) fined Qantas A$20 million.
  • In Canada, the Competition Bureau fined Qantas $155,000.
  • In South Korea, the Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Qantas 131 million won.
  • In Europe, the EU Commission's anti-trust division fined Qantas €888 million.
  • The New Zealand Commerce Commission's investigation is still ongoing.

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