B2B aviation titles in High Court libel fight over competing events

Rival aviation magazines are embroiled in a legal dispute over their annual conferences, which were this year held in the same city at the same time.

Euromoney claimed Airfinance Journal (AFJ) and its annual conference had been libelled by competitor Aviation News Limited, which prints Airline Economics.

AFJ’s Airfinance Europe conference was held in Dublin, as it has been for the last 15 years, between 22-24 January at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Aviation News’s conference was scheduled to take place in Dublin between 20-22 January at the Shelbourne Hotel.

Euromoney is suing Aviation News and its managing director Philip Tozer-Pennington for £25,000-50,000 for libel and also applied for an injunction against its competitor.

Euromoney claimed it had been “intentionally harmed” in an email, an advertisement and within Airline Economics.

It accused Aviation News of a “campaign… to injure the reputation” of AFJ and claimed it had caused “serious injury to its business reputation”.

The first of the specific items Euromoney is complaining about is an email, sent by Tozer-Pennington in August 2012 to a Ms Carole Palmer, in which he said: “we have forced a total change in focus at AFJ’s AirFinance Europe conference over the past three months which has lead [sic] the event to be a carbon copy of ours”. Euromoney claims this is defamatory and untrue.

Euromoney also took issue with an email advertisement for Aviation News’s conference, sent last November, which is known to have been seen by at least 51 recipients.

According to Euromoney the advert made “serious and untrue allegations” suggesting AFJ had copied Aviation News’s conference, had inexperienced staff and accused it of being commercially dishonest.

Euromoney is claiming damages for libel, “intentional infliction of harm by unlawful means”, an injunction against further publication of defamatory material and costs.

Aviation News said the case against them was “flawed” and that they are seeking costs.

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