SAS Group is expecting to appeal an Oslo court’s imposition of a NKr132 million ($26.3 million) fine on the company, for obtaining sensitive data on rival airline Norwegian by accessing its reservation system.

The court has also ruled that SAS Group and its Norwegian division SAS Norge must pay costs amounting to NKr6.8 million.

SAS Group says it intends to examine the judgement once it has dealt with immediate operational problems arising from an airport workers’ strike in Norway.

“We will review the terms of the judgement when Norwegian aviation has returned to normal,” says SAS Norge president Ola Strand. “But it is highly probable that we will appeal this judgement.”

Norwegian brought the case against SAS Norge two years ago.

It centres on an agreement forged between the airlines during their earlier incarnations as Braathens and Norwegian Air Shuttle. The agreement allowed Braathens to access Amadeus data on Norwegian Air Shuttle.

This access remained available even though the two airlines emerged as competitors following SAS Group’s acquisition of Braathens.

Norwegian accused SAS Group of illegally continuing to access the Amadeus data, giving it an unfair competitive advantage. Last year a court ruling relating to the same events handed down a NKr4 million fine to SAS.

SAS Group had rejected Norwegian’s claims that the airline experienced financial losses as a result of the infringement.

“We admit that we made an error and strongly regret this,” says Strand. “However, we naturally never did anything to damage Norwegian and, in our opinion, nor did we cause Norwegian to suffer any loss.”

Norwegian states that the court, at Baerum outside Oslo, has ordered SAS to comply with the ruling within 14 days, and adds that a counter-claim against Norwegian has been dismissed.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International