Asiana to Pay $55 Million in Freight Shipping Settlement

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Asiana Airlines Inc. agreed to pay $55 million to purchasers of freight shipping services to resolve claims of price-fixing, according to a court filing.

The South Korean airline is one of more than two dozen worldwide that faced allegations of conspiring to inflate shipping prices in the case in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Settlements have been reached with 22 airlines so far totaling $903 million, lawyers for the plaintiffs said today.

Plaintiffs filed a request today seeking court approval for the accord. Shipping customers alleged in the case filed in 2006 that airlines fixed prices using fuel and security surcharges.

Greg Arenson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, called the accord “a good settlement.” He declined to say whether other settlements are expected in the future, or if some remaining defendants might be headed toward trial.

Ian Simmons, a lawyer for Asiana based in Washington, didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Claims remain against airlines including Air China Ltd., Air India Ltd., Eva Airways Corp, Air New Zealand (AIR) Ltd., and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.’s Polar Air Cargo, according to Arenson.

The case is In Re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, 06-md-1775, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).