Airlines

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Germany: Supreme Court to hear cases on airline personnel strikes as "extraordinary circumstances"

On June 5, 2012, the German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) will hear two cases involving flight cancellations due to airline personnel strikes. In one case the appelate court (LG Köln) had held that the operating carrier may not refer to a strike of its own personnel as an "extraordinary circumstance", in the other case the second instance court (LG Frankfurt/Main) had decided to the contrary.

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USA: DOT issues guidance on aviation consumer information-related requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued on April 19 a notice to provide guidance to airlines and U.S. travel agents regarding compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. One of the issues addressed in the guidance letter is the requirement that, effective April 14, airlines and travel agents disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines.

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UK: OFT fines British Airways in fuel surcharges price-fixing case

On April 19, 2012, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced its decision that British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) engaged in anti-competitive practices in relation to the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges, and has imposed a fine of GBP 58.5 million on BA. VAA brought the matter to the OFT's attention and, under the OFT's leniency policy, has not been fined.

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EU Parliament gives green light to air passenger data deal with the US

A new agreement on the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data to the US authorities was approved by the European Parliament on Thursday. The deal sets legal conditions and covers issues such as storage periods, use, data protection safeguards and administrative and judicial redress. The agreement will replace a provisional deal in place since 2007.

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ECJ Advocate General Bot: compensation for denied boarding not limited to overbooking

According to Advocate General Bot, an air carrier must compensate passengers if they have been denied boarding on account of the rescheduling of their flight following a strike at the airport which took place two days beforehand and affected a previous flight. Only denied boarding justified on grounds relating to the personal situation of those passengers may exempt the air carrier from that obligation.

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European Union: airline black list updated

On April 3, 2012, the European Commission has adopted the 19th update of the European list of air carriers which are for safety reasons subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Conviasa, an air carrier certified in Venezuela, was added to the list due to safety concerns.

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ECJ Advocate General: no temporal or monetary limitation of the obligation to provide care to air passengers

In his opinion in case C-12/11 - McDonagh v Ryanair, delivered on 22.03.2012, ECJ Advocate General Bot came to the conclusion that circumstances such as the closure of airspace owing to the eruption of a volcano constitute extraordinary circumstances for the purposes of Reg. 261/2004. Additionally,  the EU legislation does not imply any limitation – temporal or monetary – of the obligation to provide care (accommodation, meals, refreshments) to the passengers.

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USA: DOT fines ticket agent and Qantas for advertising violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined ticket agent Unister USA, also known as Flights24.com, USD 30,000 for violating the Department’s rules on fare advertising and disclosure of code-share flights.

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Scotland: Lockerbie Update

New revelations produced by BBC Scotland suggest that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan jailed for life following the 1988 Lockerbie bombing may not be guilty after all. Part of the evidence against him was that he was in Malta, and was identified by a key witness there, at the time the bomb which destroyed Pan-Am Flight 103 was placed in a suitcase and loaded on to the aircraft. The Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, identified Megrahi as the man he sold clothes to and which were later found in a suitcase which had contained the bomb.

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ECJ Advocate General: air ticket pricing rules regarding ‘optional price supplements’ also apply to a cancellation insurance

Article 23(1) of Regulation No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community provides that with rergard to air fares or air rates, optional price supplements shall be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process and their acceptance by the customer shall be on an “opt-in

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