Continental absolved of criminal blame for Concorde crash

Continental Airlines has been cleared of criminal blame for the crash of an Air France Concorde on take-off from Paris in 2000.

The French appeals court ruling comes two years after another court fined the US airline and held it criminally responsible for the crash in which all 109 people on board the supersonic aircraft and four on the ground died.

But Continental may still be liable for damages after the court said the firm still bore civil responsibility.

A piece of metal from a Continental aircraft was blamed for causing the crash at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Continental had described the initial court decision and its explanation absurd, and lodged an appeal.

Yesterday’s ruling overturned criminal convictions against Continental mechanic John Taylor and Continental and quashed a €200,000 fine.

But the court said Continental still bore civil responsibility and upheld a €1 million damages payment to Air France.

The French carrier is separately suing Continental for €15 million at a commercial tribunal.

The US airline’s parent company United Continental Holdings said it supported the court’s decision that Continental was not to blame.

“We have long maintained that neither Continental nor its employees were responsible for this tragic event and are satisfied that this verdict was overturned,” a statement said.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.