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June 24, 2011

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Company that chartered crash jet must be paid

A LOGISTICS company has been ordered to pay 2.83 million yuan (US$437,403) to an air transport firm for chartering a jet - even though the aircraft crashed at Shanghai and its cargo was destroyed.

Pudong New Area People's Court ruled that the East China branch of Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co Ltd, freight agent for Eternity Logistics Co Ltd, shouldn't bear responsibility for the whole transport process.

Jiangsu Province based Eternity was also told to pay 41,706 yuan operation costs.

Eternity had a freight forwarding agreement with Sinotrans under which Eternity was in charge of transferring goods to Sinotrans and applying for Customs clearance while Sinotrans would deliver goods to airlines.

In November 2009, Sinotrans arranged to charter a Zimbabwe-registered MD-11 for Eternity, paying 2.83 million yuan in advance for the charter for Eternity.

But on November 28, the Avient Aviation freight aircraft overshot the runway on take off from Pudong International Airport, and crashed and caught fire. Three crew members were killed and the other four injured.

The blaze destroyed all the goods being transported.

Eternity received compensation for the cargo from Avient Aviation but refused to pay the fee for chartering the aircraft and the operation fee to Sinotrans.

It claimed Sinotrans failed to complete the cargo transport agreement as the goods didn't reach their destination.

The court ruled Sinotrans had fulfilled its duty in arranging an aircraft for Eternity and shouldn't be expected to take responsibility for the whole transport process.


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