Irish airline Ryanair has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against United States oil behemoth ExxonMobil claiming it overcharged the airline for aviation fuel.
Ryanair is claiming at least £7.6 Million Pounds (roughly $12 million US) in compensation alleging that the oil company illegally raised fuel prices over a seven year period.
The lawsuit also accuses ExxonMobil with engaging in a form of collusion:
‘The court documents add that the oil companies entered into “a unique and complex agreement, the purpose and effect of which was to share the market for the supply of jet fuel and to prevent the entry of new operators”.’
Ryanair’s claim continues and says:
‘”[Ryanair] has further suffered loss of profit and interest”. Industry experts said that airlines could have used lower fuel prices to cut ticket prices, meaning that the likes of Ryanair might have sold more seats and related services to extra passengers.’
Exxon made a brief statement:
“Esso Italiana can confirm that Ryanair initiated proceedings against it in 2011 regarding historic jet fuel sales in Italy. We do not wish to comment further.”
Back in 2006 Exxon and Shell Oil, among others, had to pay €315.4 million to Italian regulators for colluding to essentially keep the price of jet fuel up at airports.