Monday, December 6, 2010
Continental Airlines--now part of United--announced that it will appeal a French court judgment ordering the carrier to pay 1 million euro to Air France and a 200,000 euro fine. See Kim Willsher, Continental Airlines to Appeal Against Conviction for Concorde Crash, Guardian, Dec. 6, 2010 (available here). The order comes as part of the French court's judgment that Continental was responsible for the crash of Air France Concorde Flight 4590 in July 2000, which killed 113 people. According to the court, a small strip of titanium which fell off a Continental flight onto the runway punctured one of the Concorde's tires, sending rubber into the fuel tank which eventually caused the aircraft to crash.
Continental's lawyer is characterizing the judgment as a flagrant attempt by "French authorities to shift attention and blame [for the crash] away from Air France, which was government-owned at the time and [which] operated and maintained [the Concorde], as well as from the French authorities responsible for the Concorde's airworthiness and safety." See id.