The US airline Continental has been convicted over the Concorde crash near Paris ten years ago which ended the era of supersonic air travel.
A French court upheld the investigator’s findings that a wheel was punctured by a piece of metal left on the runway by a Continental plane.
The shreds punctured the Concorde’s fuel tank, leading to a catastrophic fire.
Continental and one of its mechanics have been found “criminally responsible” for the crash.
But the company says it will appeal.
Continental’s lawyer Olivier Metzner said the court’s aim had been to protect French interests. Thus the verdict was a result of patriotism not legal justification, far removed from justice and the truth. The company plans to appeal to “right this wrong”.
Continental disputed the metal strip claims, saying the Air France Concorde was already in flames when it struck the small piece of titanium.
113 people died in the crash in July 2000.
Compensation has already been given but Air France may now try to recoup from Continental some of the 100 million euros it has paid out.