Jon Turner QC leads for British Airways as EU Court partly annuls Commission’s 2017 decision, reducing fine by €20 million.

08 Apr 2022

On 30 March 2022, in the most recent judgment in the long-running “Air Cargo” damages litigation, the European General Court upheld, in part, British Airways’ appeal and partly annulled the Commission’s 2017 decision. This resulted in a near 20% cut in the airline’s €104 million fine for the airline.

In 2010, after the Commission found a group of airlines guilty of price fixing for air cargo services, a large number of damages claims by air cargo shippers were brought together against British Airways. Since that time Jon has been retained as the lead counsel for British Airways, which brought in a group of other airlines as contribution defendants. The long-running damages litigation came to an end in 2019, but an arm of the litigation involved appeals against the European Commission’s infringement decision in the European courts.

This most recent judgment upheld one of British Airways’ grounds of appeal and annuls the Commission decision in part, in so far as it finds that they participated in the element of the infringement relating to the refusal to pay commission on the surcharges.

Japan Airlines, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, SAS Cargo, LATAM and LAN Cargo also secured partial annulment. However, the General Court upheld the European Commission fines against Air France, KLM and Martinair, along with Cargolux, Singapore Airlines, and Singapore Airlines Cargo, as well as Lufthansa.

See judgment here

Jon Turner QC represented British Airways, instructed by Slaughter and May.

Alan Bates represented the European Commission.

George Peretz QC acted for the European Commission in both the LAN Chile:LATAM and Air Canada appeals.