Air NZ says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle over cargo cartel, seeks costs

Air New Zealand says claims against it as part of a class action lawsuit in Australia over alleged price fixing on freight have been withdrawn and the airline won't be contributing to an A$38 million settlement by other airlines.

The suit, which began in 2007 against Air NZ, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Lufthansa Cargo related to alleged price fixing on international freight services starting in 2000.

Customers of the air freight services had sought damages of A$200 million for losses suffered as a result of the airlines' alleged behaviour including in setting fuel and security surcharges for cargo crossing Australia's borders.

"Air New Zealand is not contributing to a settlement and has a claim for recovery of its legal costs to be determined by the Federal Court on 6 June," the Auckland-based airline said in a statement. Terms of the settlement with other airlines requires sign off by the court.

Claims against Air New Zealand "are to be discontinued," it said.

The settlement includes deduction of almost A$20 million claimed in costs and expenses by the lawyers who took the class action, Air New Zealand said.

Air New Zealand shares last traded at $2.075.


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