Court orders Airbus, Air France to stand trial over 2009 crash

Reuters

Posted at May 12 2021 06:53 PM

PARIS - Air France and Airbus should stand trial over a 2009 crash in the Atlantic that killed 228 people, a Paris appeal court ruled on Wednesday.

The ruling overturns a 2019 decision not to press charges against either company over the accident, in which the pilots lost control of the Airbus A330 jet after ice blocked its airspeed sensors.

Airbus and Air France both said on Wednesday they planned to file appeals against the ruling before a higher court.

"The court decision that has just been announced does not reflect in any way the conclusions of the investigation," Airbus said in an emailed statement.

Air France "maintains that it committed no criminal fault at the root of this tragic accident", said a spokesman for the carrier, which is part of Air France-KLM.

Air France flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed on June 1, 2009, killing everyone on board.

French investigators found that the crew had mishandled loss of speed readings from sensors blocked with ice and caused an aerodynamic stall by holding the aircraft's nose too high.