British Airways execs face charges on price fixing

by Ella FAIRCHILD on April 12, 2010

Three former British Airways execs along with a current employee will appear in court on charges of price fixing. British Airways was already slapped with fines for the same price fixing charges. All four men have pled not guilty to allegedly making a pact with Virgin Atlantic to fix surcharge prices from 2004 to 2006.

Andrew Crawley, head of sales at BA, former commercial director Martin George, former communications head Iain burns, and former UK and Ireland sales chief Alan Burnett, are all set to appear at a high court in Southwark. Charges surround the period of time in which fuel prices surged to £60 from £5 over an 18-month time period for a standard long-haul ticket.

Back in August 2008 at a court appearance, the prosecution alleged that the executives had dishonestly conceded to either directly or indirectly fix ticket prices between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. The men are accused of fixing air ticket prices between July 2004 and April 2006.

The Virgin Atlantic staff members who were involved in the price fixing have since qualified for immunity due to their disclosure of the agreement to the OFT. Steve Ridgeway, chief executive at Virgin, will be appearing at the trial as a witness on behalf of the prosecution.

Mr Crawley is the only man accused who still remains in his position at British Airways. Mr Burns and Mr George resigned in 2006 from their positions, with Mr Burnett retiring during the same year.

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