LONDON: Allegations that UK flag-carrying airline British Airways colluded over fuel surcharges with its main compatriot rival, Virgin Atlantic, have resulted in four senior BA marketing honchos – one current and three former – being arraigned to appear in court on 24 September.
Former commercial director Martin George, ex-communications director Iain Burns and Alan Burnett, who was in charge of UK and Ireland sales, will stand alongside current head of sales Andrew Crawley, charged with offences under the Enterprise Act 2002.
The charges – which follow a lengthy probes on both sides of the Atlantic into fuel surcharges applied between July 2004 and April 2006 – were brought by competition watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading.
If found guilty, the quartet could be jailed for up to five years and face an unlimited fine.
British Airways has already been fined £121.5 million ($263.18m; €153.96m) by the OFT for price fixing plus an additional £147 million by the US Department of Justice.
Virgin Atlantic, which squealed to the authorities over the alleged price fixing, remains uncharged.
As does Willie Walsh, British Airways' autocratic ceo who is on record as saying that anti-competitive behaviour is to be condemned at BA or at other companies. And on a different matter ... "the buck stops with me".
Data sourced from Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff