With the announcement that the last remaining carrier yet to stand trial, Air India, agreed to settle out of court for US $12.5 million, it is finally case-closed for the decade-long anti-trust lawsuit.
Air India was originally scheduled to stand trial in September to refute the accusation it had colluded with other airlines to artificially inflate airfreight rates. After seeing the fate of fellow hold-out, Air New Zealand, which earlier this month was slapped with a $35 million fine, the carrier threw in the towel.
In the end, 21 carriers pleaded guilty and have agreed to pay out more than $1.8 billion in fines to the case’s plaintiffs, a group of forwarders. Korean Air and Atlas Air faced the largest fines with $115 million and $100 million respectively.
“After more than a decade of relentless effort, we are pleased to add these final settlements to our existing recoveries and achieve justice for those impacted by the defendants’ alleged anticompetitive practices,” said Hollis Salzman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiff class at Robins Kaplan.