Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong International) along with Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith), British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt International) and Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) are set to reach a AUD38million (USD35.4million) settlement with petitioners in Australia involving a long-running air-cargo cartel class action lawsuit.

The price fixing class action began in 2007 and was taken up on behalf of purchasers of international airfreight services, including importers and exporters of products to and from Australia. It has involved lawsuits the world over following raids by law enforcement agencies around the world on February 14, 2006.

"This case involved allegations of collusive conduct by many airlines, over a long period of time and in different parts of the world," Brooke Dellavedova, an associate at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said. "It has been a large, complex and difficult action, hard fought by the parties for seven years, so this is a significant victory for the businesses that we've been fighting this battle for. Without these actions, the businesses that we act for would have no opportunity for compensation, so we're happy to reach this point for them, and we know they're also pleased with the outcome," she added.

The application for settlement approval will be heard by the Australian Federal Court on June 6, 2014.

The class action is in respect of an alleged cartel to fix the price of international airfreight services, specifically relating to fuel and security surcharges imposed by the airlines.

It is claimed that between at least January of 2000 and February of 2006, major international cargo airlines from around the world conspired to inflate the price of shipping goods by air. The conspiracy increased global shipping prices, costing businesses and individuals that ship goods by air billions of dollars in losses.

To date, class plaintiffs the world over have obtained over USD758 million in settlements from twenty-three defendants.