Crash victims' families, however, expressed disappointment with the ruling.
Stephane Gicquel, head of a group of victims' families, said Thursday's ruling left them with "a sense of powerlessness."
"The court says the plane shouldn't have flown. It did fly, but no conclusion is drawn," he said.
Attempts to reach Taylor for comment were unsuccessful.
The French court that convicted Continental and the mechanic in 2010 for the crash imposed about 2 million euros ($2.7 million) in damages and fines on the carrier. The appeals court upheld Continental's civil responsibility and ordered it to pay Air France 1 million euros ($1.3 million) in damages and interests.
Parties including Air France and Continental compensated the families of most victims years ago, so financial claims were not the trial's focus -- the main goal was to assign responsibility. In France, unlike in many other countries, plane crashes routinely lead to trials to assign criminal responsibility -- cases that often drag on for years.
"This was a tragic accident and we support the court's decision that Continental did not bear fault," Megan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc., said in a written statement. Continental merged with United in 2010.
The Flight Safety Foundation, an organization that monitors aviation safety, applauded the decision.
"We're very pleased that courts are recognizing that professional human error does not amount to criminal conduct, even where it can lead to catastrophic consequences," said Kenneth Quinn, general counsel for the FSF, based in Alexandria, Va.
At the time it was launched, the Concorde supersonic jet was the height of luxury, flying between New York and the European capitals of London and Paris in less than four hours, instead of a standard flight of over seven hours. Flying west, British Airways boasted, the flight's well-heeled travelers could effectively arrive at their destinations before they left.