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Air France Reaches Compensation Agreement

Sat Apr 07, 2001 9:34 pm

Concorde compensation deal agreed
April 6, 2001
Web posted at: 4:36 PM EDT (2036 GMT)

By CNN Paris Bureau Chief Peter Humi

PARIS, France -- An insurance company for Air France has reached an agreement with some of the relatives of the Concorde crash victims.

French insurance company Reunion Arienne, one of the primary insurers for Air France, has confirmed to CNN that an out-of-court agreement has been reached.

But German lawyer Gerhart Baum, who said he represents three-quarters of the victims' families said "an agreement is in sight. But it hasn't yet been finished."

He described the talks as "good negotiations" and said he expected an announcement regarding the settlement would be made within the coming weeks.

There were 100 German tourists on aboard the Concorde when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport July 25, 2000.

For the sake of "confidentiality," the insurance company did not release the exact sum, but a source confirmed the compensation had been agreed to on a case-by-case basis.

Fernand Garnault, who is heading the legal team representing the insurers of Air France, said discussions with the German lawyers for a majority of the families had been productive.

"The insurers have submitted... a global proposal, of individual offers of compensation to the families represented by German lawyers, who are going to discuss the terms with their clients,"he said in a statement.

The cause of the accident, which killed 113 people, is still being investigated.

The French accident investigation bureau is pursuing the theory that a piece of metal, which fell from a Continental Airlines jet onto the runway, may have punctured one of the Concorde's tires, leading to the catastrophic chain of events that doomed the Air France Concorde.

Air France has not confirmed recent reports that maintenance work on the supersonic jet's undercarriage may have led to the crash.

Concordes were immediately grounded after the crash, but engineers said last month that the plane could soon be airborne again following a series of “very positive” runway safety tests.

Air France and British Airways, the only companies that own Concordes, hope to recover the planes' commercial flight permit in the coming months, and next plan to test a British Airways model.

BA have started fitting bullet-proof liners to the fuel tanks of its Concordes in an effort to strengthen

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