Accused Cargo Airlines in Price-Fixing Scandal Fight Off

21st Jan 2015

The scandal made headlines nine years ago when several global anti-trust authorities such as the US Department of Justice and European Commission, raided the offices of the respondent airlines to seek evidence for use against them for their roles in the commission of the alleged price-fixing between 1999 and 2006.

In December last year, the plaintiff, Schenker AG, announced that it has filed separate lawsuits in both the US and Germany against 13 air cargo airlines who participated in the price-fixing scandal.

Named respondents in the German lawsuit that it has filed in December 2013 include Lufthansa, Air Canada, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Cargolux International Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Airlines, SAS, Japan Airlines, Qantas Airways, and LAN Airlines.

LAN Airlines is the national flag carrier of Chile and part of the LATAM Airline Group. It is the operator of the LAN Cargo, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

In its US lawsuit, which it filed in August 2014, defendants include Air France, KLM, Dutch carrier Martinair, Cargolux, Qantas, SAS, and All Nippon Airways.

Today, some of the airlines filed separate motions in the US and Germany to dismiss the case against them. The two airlines who filed motions in the US federal court are All Nippon Airways and Cargolux alleging that Schenker AG is merely 'forum shopping' in order to gain advantage.

The two airlines said that the US court is not the proper court for the said lawsuit, as the violation was committed in Europe with all the witnesses and documents used by Schenker AG are all in Europe aside from the fact that the complainant is state-owned and based in Germany.

Qantas, meanwhile, has filed a separate motion to quash the lawsuit against them as the complainant failed to comply the Clayton Act. It states that no case could be filed against a defendant after the four-year limit lapses since the commission of the violation. The airline was referring to the raids maid by authorities against them in February 15, 2006.

Schenker AG is a logistics company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the railway company, Deutsche Bahn.

It is seeking a damage of $2.1 billion against the airlines in Germany and another $370 million in the US for a total of $2.5 billion.

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