Collusion claims hit carriers including American Airlines, Lan Chile
The Chilean exporters were represented by local law firm Araya & Cia, but partner Matías Araya Varela says the exact amount of the total sum to be given to his clients cannot yet be revealed.
"There was price collusion on fuel and security surcharges during an understood period between January 2000 and Septembre 2006, which effectively led to an increase in air freight during that period, which is why a collective lawsuit was brought in the United States," Araya Varela says.
"The distribution of the compensatory sum is in respect to the amounts among the participants, so it doesn't mean that one determined airline compensates X million; it is only distributed to those who transported with that airline, and that it's divided by those who presented claims of having shipped with whichever airline," he says.
"It is forecast that the recuperation amount would be between 5% and 10% of the value of freight paid in the period."
He says the 20 Chilean companies will likely receive their payments in the first half of next year, provided they can prove they paid for freight during the period and meet requirements.
A U.S. shipping agent started the claim in 2006 which led to an investigation, before the airlines eventually decided to pay compensation but without recognizing responsibility.
Araya Varela can confirm that to date Colombian exporters are also involved in the claims against the airlines.
The airlines involved
Araya Varela told www.freshfruitportal.com the following 42 airlines were involved in the claim:
Aerolíneas Brasileras S.A. (ABSA)
Air Canada or AC Cargo LP
Air China Cargo Company or Air China Ltd.
Air France (Societé Air France)
Air Mauritius Ltd.
Air New Zealand (Airways Corp of New Zealand Ltd.)
Alitalia Linee Aeree Italiane S.P.A.
All Nipon Airways Co. Ltd.
American Airlines, Inc. or AMR Corporation.
Asiana Airlines, Inc.
British Airways PLC
Cargolux Airlines International S.A.
Cathay Pacific Airways, Ltd.
DAS Air Ltd. (DAS Air Cargo)
El Al Israel Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines Corp.
EVA Airways Corporation
Japan Airlines International Co., Ltd.
Kenya Airways Limited.
Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (KLM)
Korean Airlines Co., Ltd.
Lan Airlines S.A. (Lan Chile) or Lan Cargo S.A.
Lufthansa Cargo AG or Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Martinair Holland N.V.
Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd.
Polar Air Cargo Inc. Or Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.
Qantas Airways Limited
SAS Cargo Group A/S or Scandinavian Airlines System.
Saudi Arabian Airlines, Ltd.
Singapore Airlines Cargo PTE, Ltd. Or Singapore Airlines Ltd.
South African Airways (Propietary) Ltd.
Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.
Vicao Aerea Rio-Grandense S.A. (VARIG)