Air Cargo Class Action
IMPORTANT - Proposed Settlement
The Applicants and the Respondents, other than the Air New
Zealand parties, have reached an agreement for the settlement of
the class action, subject to Court approval.
The Federal Court has ordered that a notice be published on this
website for the information of Group Members.
Click here to
view the Court Notice of Proposed Settlement
The details of the process by which the settlement amount is
proposed to be distributed is outlined in a Settlement
Distribution Scheme which can be viewed here.
The Settlement Deed may be viewed by Registered Group Members
upon request, and upon first signing a confidentiality agreement.
Under the Settlement Distribution Scheme, there can be no
distribution until all claims have been assessed, and any Review
The settlement will not take effect unless and until approved by
the Court. The Applicants will seek the Court's approval at a
hearing on 6 June 2014 in the Federal Court in the
Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building on the corner of
William and La Trobe Streets, at 305 William Street Melbourne,
Victoria. Group Members may attend this hearing.
Group Members wishing to oppose the proposed settlement must do
so by 21 May 2014. If you do not object, you will
be bound by the settlement, whether or not you have registered an
intention to participate in any settlement, as set out below. If
you do object, but the court nevertheless approves the settlement,
you will also be bound.
Group Members are all those persons resident in Australia as at
11 January 2007 who, during the period 1 January 2000 to 11 January
2007, paid identified amounts (ie amounts identified by way of
invoices, or equivalent demands for payment, or terms of trade,
which identified international airfreight as a separate item for
which payment was due) totalling more than AUD$20,000 over the
period for the carriage of goods to or from Australia including in
each instance a component by air and who are not related parties of
the Respondents or any of them within the meaning of the
Corporations Act 2001.
'Registered Group Members' are those who meet the definition of
Group Members and who notified their intention to participate in
any settlement reached in these proceedings by 15 November 2013 in
accordance with the Court's orders dated 27 September 2013.
If you are a Group Member you now have the following
- Take no action: If you do nothing, and the Court approves the
proposed settlement, you will be bound by the settlement agreement
reached between the parties to the proceedings as explained
- Object: If you wish to object to the proposed settlement of the
Air Cargo Class Action, you must file a written outline of the
grounds upon which you oppose the proposed settlement along with
any affidavit evidence you wish to rely upon with the Federal
Court, and provide a copy of your notice to Maurice Blackburn
Attention: Tahli Preston-Dixon
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
PO Box 523J
Or email it to: email@example.com
by 4:00pm on 21 May 2014 (the Deadline).
You may then need to attend the hearing and make submissions to
the Court on 6 June 2014. If you do not provide an outline to the
Court by the Deadline, you will have no right to make oral
submissions to the Court on 6 June 2014.
If you have any questions regarding the Air Cargo Class Action,
you should contact the Applicants' solicitors (Maurice Blackburn).
Contact details for Maurice Blackburn regarding this matter are as
Contact: Tahli Preston-Dixon
Telephone: (03) 9605 2892
Copies of the Sixth Amended
Application and Eighth
Amended Statement of Claim which set out the claims made in the
Air Cargo Class Action can also be viewed here.
Maurice Blackburn is conducting a price fixing class action
against major international airlines including Qantas, Lufthansa
Cargo, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand and
British Airways in relation to the provision of international air
freight services since 1 January 2000. The class action seeks
damages and other relief on behalf of purchasers of air freight
services for losses suffered as a result of the alleged cartel
conduct by the airlines.
This class action alleges contraventions of the price fixing
provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and relates to
fuel and security surcharges imposed by the airlines on
international air freight services.
Regulatory Proceedings and overseas Class Actions
Proceedings by competition regulators including the ACCC against
various airlines and executives in respect of the alleged global
air cargo cartel continue to yield significant results. The total
fines by the ACCC to date against airlines for price fixing of
international air freight amount to nearly $100 million, and are
the highest to be ordered in respect of a single ACCC
investigation. Air New Zealand and Garuda Indonesia have defended
proceedings brought by the ACCC. The trial of those proceedings
concluded on 15 May 2013 and judgement is pending.
A total of 22 airlines and 21 executives have been charged in
the US Department of Justice's ongoing investigation into price
fixing in the air transportation industry. To date, more than
US$1.8 billion in criminal fines have been imposed and six
executives have been sentenced to serve prison time.
On 9 November 2010, the European Commission fined 11 air cargo
carriers a total of €799,445,000 for operating a worldwide cartel
which affected cargo services within the European Economic
On 2 August 2012, the US Court approved further settlements
reached in the US air cargo class action. These settlements bring
the total payments so far to US$485 million. Settlements were also
reached and approved by courts in the Canadian air cargo class
Click on the additional information item on the left for more
detail about the continuing investigations by the ACCC and other
competition regulators around the world and other class actions in
respect of the alleged air cargo cartel.