German Claimants Agree to Concorde Settlement

May 14, 2001

Lawyers for the families of the victims of the Concorde crash near Paris last July have agreed on the terms of a settlement with Air France and its insurers La Réunion Aérienne.

Although the exact terms haven’t been disclosed, most estimates indicate that the total amount of the settlement is around $150 million, a record compensation payment in Europe. Several lawsuits filed in the U.S., where damage awards are substantially greater than those in Europe, and the threat of additional actions, apparently led to the record breaking offer.

Lawyers for the victims said the exact amounts of each family’s claim was now being calculated, and would include estimates of U.S. damage awards in similar circumstances.

The settlement was announced amid renewed controversy over a recent report in the British newspaper The Observer that claimed evidence showed vital parts were missing from the Concorde’s landing gear assembly and that it was 6 tons overweight on takeoff. Both factors may have contributed to causing the fire and the crash. French investigators have denied the reports.

Plans by British Airways and Air France now call for a resumption of the supersonic service to New York from London and Paris as early as this summer, following an extensive refitting of the landing gear, the tires and the fuel tanks.

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