A Nigerian judicial panel has thrown out fines totaling $235 million imposed on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic by the country's civil aviation authorities, officials said Friday.
In November, it fined British Airways $135 million (100 million euros) and Virgin Atlantic $100 million, while a judicial panel was assigned to look into the case.
Harold Demuren, head of the civil aviation authority, told AFP the panel "cancelled the fines because at the time of the offence between 2004 and 2006, there was no law to make them culpable."
"As far as we are concerned, the two airlines are guilty," he said.
Both airlines have denied the allegations. Demuren said the authority intended to pursue the matter further, but was still studying which steps to take.
The fines came as Nigeria's government engaged in negotiations with British officials over allegations that British Airways had been overcharging on its routes between Nigeria and Britain.
It also held talks with British officials over slots at London's Heathrow airport. Demuren denied at the time that the fines were linked to the negotiations over the Heathrow slots.
Source: AFP Global Edition