Thursday, November 29, 2012

French Court clears Continental Airlines of criminal blame for 2000 Air France Concorde Crash

Continental Airlines has been cleared of criminal blame for the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde aircraft at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

United Continental Holdings confirmed the decision of a French appeals court today and said in a statement, “This was a tragic accident and we support the court’s decision that Continental did not bear fault. We have long maintained that neither Continental nor its employees were responsible for this tragic event and are satisfied that this verdict was overturned.”

United Airlines and Continental merged in 2010 and received its single operating certificate late last year.
The appeals court decision comes almost two years to the day after another French court found Continental to be criminally responsible for the crash, in which 113 people died. That court concluded that there was a link between safety failures by Continental and the fire that brought down the Concorde.

It held the airline and its mechanic responsible for having manufactured and installed a piece of titanium that fell from a Continental DC-10 that took off from the same runway shortly before the Concorde’s departure.

The airline was fined €200,000 ($265,000) and ordered to pay €1million in damages to Air France.

According to a BBC report Thursday, the appeals court has upheld the damages order, saying Continental still bore civil responsibility.

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

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