LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire – Air France-KLM ran up US legal costs of €10m ($13.4m) in the past financial year fighting class-action suits against the group for its role in alleged price-fixing of freight rates in its air cargo operations but has yet to make any provision for these costs in its accounts, the Financial Times reports.
Philippe Calavia, Air France-KLM chief financial officer, said the legal bills “may last another couple of years” at the same level. “It is very expensive,” he said.
Air France-KLM, the world’s biggest airline measured by turnover, along with several other leading international carriers, has been under investigation for 18 months by the US justice department, the European Commission and other national cartel authorities, for alleged illegal price-fixing of long-haul fuel surcharges on air cargo.
Two weeks ago, British Airways, one of the other airlines under investigation, admitted that there hadbeen “breaches” in its compliance with competitionpolicy and said it wasmaking a provision of £350m ($694m) to settle eventual fines and claims by competition authorities and in civil litigation.
Mr Calavia said that the French carrier had not made provision in its accounts for the year to the end of March in response to the cartel probe, because it had not yet received sufficient guidance from the European competition authority on the scale of the challenge it was facing.