Published on Friday, November 29, 2019

Lufthansa faces multi-million dollar fine for almost 900 unauthorised flights

Lufthansa is facing a $6.4 million fine from the US Federal Aviation Administration for operating hundreds of unauthorised flights to the States.

The FAA alleges Lufthansa operated nearly 900 flights between Frankfurt and San Diego and between Frankfurt and Philadelphia without the necessary permits.

It claims Lufthansa operated 600 flights between Frankfurt and San Diego and 292 flights to Philadelphia without authorisation.

The US airports were not listed in Lufthansa's FAA-issued Operations Specifications, it said.

"Lufthansa is fully cooperating with the FAA on this matter and will be addressing the regulatory issues involved with the Agency. Lufthansa is globally committed to compliance with all laws and regulations," the airline said.

Safety wasn't compromised, Lufthansa said, although the FAA said Lufthansa was aware it was operating the flights without full authorisation.

In a statement, the FAA said: "Between March 22, 2018 and May 27, 2019, Lufthansa operated approximately 600 flights with Airbus 340 aircraft from Frankfurt International Airport to San Diego, and from San Diego to Frankfurt.

"Between Oct. 28, 2018 and April 10, 2019, Lufthansa operated approximately 292 flights with Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft from Frankfurt to Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia to Frankfurt."

Lufthansa has 30 days after receiving the FAA's penalty letter to respond. Airlines often negotiate lower fines with the agency.

What the Mole says:

While it is a technical breach of the regulations, it doesn't look good on the FAA's oversight, allowing so many unauthorised flights to operate unchecked.

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