British Airways' Marketing Trio Named in US Price-Fixing Lawsuit

24 August 2007

WASHINGTON, DC: Three former British Airways marketers, who resigned from the company last October for reasons unspecified, have been named in a lawsuit seeking damages from the airline.

The action is filed by Washington law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll. A specialist in class actions, it has cited former BA commercial director Martin George, ex-communications director Ian Burns, and Alan Burnett who ran UK and international sales.

Also named are two other marketers from rival airline Virgin Atlantic: current commercial director Willy Bolter and quondam communications director Paul Moores.

The charge levelled at the British quintet is that they conspired to fix the price of fuel surcharges. But the thrust of the action in the first instance is against the two airlines as corporate entities.

Should they fail to cooperate, however, foxy lawyer Michael Hausfeld - in whose name the case is brought - says he will seek reparations from the named individuals.

BA has already pled guilty to price fixing in a case brought by the US Department of Justice and incurred a $300 million (€221.24m; £149.74m) fine.

Neither those named, nor the airlines, were available for comment Thursday evening. Extradition of the five is possible should they not voluntarily attend the court hearing.

Data sourced from The Times (UK); additional content by WARC staff