SAS fined £13m for accessing rival's systems

The Norwegian unit of the Scandinavian Airlines System has been instructed to pay 132 million kroner (£13m) in compensation to rival Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in a civil suit over unlawful access to computer systems.

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The Norwegian unit of the Scandinavian Airlines System has been instructed to pay 132 million kroner (£13m) in compensation to rival Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in a civil suit over unlawful access to computer systems.


SAS Norway was earlier found guilty of illegally accessing confidential passenger and price information on electronic booking system used by the smaller airline. The Supreme Court ruled that SAS had misused the bookings information, and ordered SAS to pay a fine of NOK 4 million (£403,214).

In the civil suit at Asker and Bærum District Court, Norwegian has sued SAS for damages. The court ruled in favour of Norwegian, and SAS was fined £13m in compensation.

But SAS maintained that Norwegian didn't suffer financially from its insight into the bookings system, which is called Amadeus. It has been reported that the airlines shared Amadeus until the deal was cancelled in 2002, but SAS Norway continued to access the system until 2005 for information about its rival's pricing and routes.

"The civil suit brought by Norwegian resulted from unlawful insight into the Amadeus system several years ago. SAS has apologised for the inconvenience cause to Norwegian in relation to the matter, but rejected the claim made in court that this resulted in financial losses," said SAS Norway in a statement.

"Norwegian gave us its access to Amadeus, but the Supreme Court has established that we had no reason to use this access as we did. We admit that we made an error and strongly regret this. However, we naturally never did anything to damage Norwegian and, in our opinion, nor did we cause Norwegian to suffer any loss," said Ola Strand, president of SAS Norge.

SAS said it is likely the airline would appeal this judgement.