Ireland: Eyjafjallajökull eruption referred to the ECJ

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

The Dublin Metropolitan District Court referred the follwoing questions to the Court of the European Union:

  • Do circumstances such as the closures of European airspace as a result of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, which caused widespread and prolonged disruption to air travel, go beyond "extraordinary circumstances" within the meaning of Regulation 261/2004?
  • If the answer to question 1 is yes, is liability for the duty to provide care excluded under Articles 5 and 9 in such circumstances?
  • If the answer to question 2 is no, are Articles 5 and 9 invalid in so far as they violate the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination, the principle of an "equitable balance of interests" enshrined in the Montreal Convention, and Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?
  • Is the obligation in Articles 5 and 9 to be interpreted as containing an implied limitation, such as a temporal and/or a monetary limit, to provide care in cases where cancellation is caused by "extraordinary circumstances"?
  • If the answer to question 4 is no, are Articles 5 and 9 invalid in so far as they violate the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination, the principle of an "equitable balance of interests" enshrined in the Montreal Convention, and Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?

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