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European Air Cargo Cartel


Claims Funding Europe Limited is currently managing litigation against Air France, KLM British Airways, Lufthansa and Martinair on behalf of a large group of businesses to recover losses sustained as victims of the global air freight cartel that occurred in the European Economic Area (EEA) between December 1999 and the 14th February 2006.

Eleven airlines were fined a total of €799 million for participating in the worldwide cartel that affected the European market. Some of the largest and best known airlines in the World are among those that were fined by the European Commission:

  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • British Airways
  • Cargolux
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • LAN Chile
  • Lufthansa
  • Martinair
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss International Airlines
  • Qantas

Our Proceedings

The case initially commenced against Air France, KLM and Martinair. Under Dutch law, a member of a cartel is jointly and severally liable for all losses caused by the entire cartel. The action alleges a breach of Article 101 of the EC Treaty which prohibits price-fixing.

Claims Funding Europe has by far the largest number of substantial corporations in its group. Our group has a combined spend of billions on air cargo in the cartel period which gives us significant negotiating strength. Fourteen airlines have already agreed to pay compensation to their US victims and we believe it is only a matter of time before they do so in Europe.

European Air Cargo Cartel Decision is Published

The European Commission have finally published a provisional non-confidential version of the 2010 decision against 14 airlines for participating in a price-fixing air cargo cartel. Claims Funding Europe welcomes the long-awaited release of the substantive details of the decision, published by the Commission on Friday, 8th May. A copy of the decision can be found here.

The 244-page Commission Decision will be significant to Claims Funding Europe in the follow-on action for damages it is funding in the Netherlands on behalf of the victims of the European Air Cargo Cartel. The Commission elaborates on the nature of the price fixing cartel and the rationale behind fining the airlines €799 million.

Politico Report on Release of Air Cargo Decision

Following the release of the European Air Cargo Cartel decision by the European Commission, the below article “Airline Industry Hits Turbulence on Shipping Costs” was recently published in the European edition of Politico. Antitrust reporter Nicolas Hirst describes Claims Funding Europe’s follow-on action as “setting a potential legal precedent” in Europe. Claims Funding Europe’s Director, Martin Hyde comments on the four-year delay between the European Commission fining the cartel airlines and the publication of the decision. Read the article here.