January 8 - Polar Air Cargo has confirmed that along with Polar Air Cargo Worldwide and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings it has entered into a settlement agreement in an antitrust class action lawsuit in the USA.

The industry-wide litigation arose from allegations about the pricing practices of a number of air cargo carriers on routes to and from the US from January 2000 through to September 2006.

Polar Air Cargo says the settlement agreement resolves all claims against the companies by participating members in the class action. The companies say they continue to deny any wrongdoing or liability, and there is no admission of any wrongdoing or liability in the settlement agreement.

Polar has agreed to make installment payments over three years to settle the class action, with payments of USD35 million due on or before 15 January 2016, USD35 million on or before 15 January 2017, and USD30 million on or before 15 January 2018. The payments are expected to be funded from cash available on hand.

Atlas Air Worldwide president and chief executive officer, William J. Flynn says: "We are committed to the highest standards of ethics and governance. It is important to put this legacy matter behind us and focus our full attention on the continued execution of our strategic growth initiatives.

"Our business continues to generate substantial cash flows, and we look forward to capitalising on the significant opportunities ahead to deliver value for our shareholders, employees and customers."

Atlas Air Worldwide says it expects to record an expense for the full amount of the Polar settlement in the fourth quarter of 2015, which should total approximately USD2.60 per diluted share on an after-tax basis.

Excluding this impact, it adds the settlement does not affect Atlas Air Worldwide's previously issued adjusted earnings outlook for 2015, nor does the settlement affect other related litigation or the company's ongoing business operations.

The settlement agreement is subject to approval and acceptance by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.