Air New Zealand has been awarded $3.2 million towards its legal costs by the Federal Court in Australia as part of the settlement of a class action over the air cargo market.

Air New Zealand is not making any payment as part of that settlement, the airline said. The class action alleging anti-competitive conduct by many airlines setting cargo rates and surcharges was started by the plaintiffs' lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, in 2007, claiming damages of up to A$200 million ($219.8 million).

"Air New Zealand has consistently denied any such conduct and was one of two airlines to defend related proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. A decision of the Federal Court is awaited," the airline said.

Last year the airline settled with the Commerce Commission in this country in a long-running air cargo cartel case, paying a $7.5 million fine.

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Air New Zealand said yesterday it was cleared of involvement by the European Commission in 2010 and by the USA Department of Justice in 2011.