BA executives ‘to face charges’ over price fixing

British Airways’ head of sales is among four serving or former executives facing charges in the UK over collusion with other airlines in setting fuel surcharges on passenger fares.

The Office of Fair Trading is reported to be preparing charges against BA sales head Andrew Crawley, former commercial director and board member Martin George, former head of communications Iain Burns and former of head of UK and Ireland sales Alan Burnett.

An OFT spokesman would not confirm a prosecution is pending, as reported in the Financial Times, but did not deny the office is poised to bring charges.

A spokesman for BA said Crawley remained head of sales, but could not confirm whether he was at work. He said the airline was aware of the OFT investigation.

The news will be a considerable embarassment to BA boss Willie Walsh, who has sought to draw a line under the scandal, having paid out £270 million in fines to the OFT and the US Department of Justice last year and – together with Virgin Atlantic – another £75 million in settlement of a class-action law suit in the US.

Up to ten past and present BA executives, including Crawley, George, Burns and Burnett, face possible charges in the US in a continuing Department of Justice investigation into collusion on surcharges on cargo.

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