Aviation

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IFTTA Law Review 2-2018

The latest edition of the IFTTA Law review is now available in the members area of the website. It contains an editorial by Timothy Law, an article on price indications on online bookings by Klaus Tonner, a report about the IFTTA North America Conference by Douglas Crozier and a recent CJEU judgement on air passenger rigths. Enjoy reading!

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Germany: no State liability for missed flight after lengthy security check

The plaintiff and his familiy were booked on a flight from Germany to a destination outside the Schengen area. The flight was scheduled to depart at 04:55 and the boarding time was announced for 04:30. The plaintiff and his family arrived at the security check shortly before 04:00. The officer detected a suspiciuos object in the hand luggage of the plaintiff's wife. He informed his supervisor who ordered the hand bag to be screened several times. In addition, the plaintiff's wife was checked for traces of explosive materials.

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German Supreme Court decides on airline tariff: a non-refundable ticket remains non-refundable

The plaintiffs had booked tickets for a Lufthansa flight from Hamburg via Frankfurt to Miami and back from Los Angeles via Frankfurt to Hamburg. The ticket price was EUR 2.766,32 and according to the tariff, the ticket was non-refundable (except applicable taxes only). Because of a disease, the plaintiffs cancelled their tickets and claimed back the ticket price. Lufthansa only refunded taxes of EUR 133,56 each. The plaintiffs filed a law suit for the difference which was dismissed by the first instance court (AG Köln) and their appeal was dismissed as well.

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CJEU decides on forum in air passenger rigths cases

In Rehder v Ari Baltic (C-204/08) the Court of Justice of the Europena Union had decided that in the case of air transport of passengers from one Member State to another Member State, carried out on the basis of a contract with only one airline, which is the operating carrier, the court having jurisdiction to deal with a claim for compensation founded on that transport contract and Reg. (EC) No.

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German Supreme Court (BGH) decides on air carrier liability for passenger fall on boarding bridge

The claimant was about to embark for his flight from Düsseldorf to Hamburg on Feb. 9, 2013, when he slipped on the boarding bridge because of a wet floor caused by condensation. As a result he suffered from a fracture of his patella. He filed a claim for damages against the defendant air carrier. The first instance court (LG Düsseldorf) dismissed the claim and the appelate court (OLG Düsseldorf) confirmed this decision: according to the Montral Convention, the air carrier was only libale for accidents caused by a hazard which was characteristic for aviation.

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U.S. Court: mental anguish compensable under Montreal Convention if it results from an accident that also caused bodily injury

Plaintiff Jane Doe and her eleven-year-old daughter flew aboard Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Chicago. When she stuck her hand into the seat pocket in front of her, she was unexpectedly pricked by a hypodermic needle that lay hidden within. The needle drew blood from her finger.  Doe was prescribed medication for possible exposure to hepatitis, tetanus, and HIV, and she underwent several rounds of testing over the following year. Thankfully for Doe, all the tests came back negative.

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Brazilian courts to apply Montreal Convention, finally?

According to an article published on "Lexology", on May 25, 2017  the Brazilian Supreme Federal Tribunal has passed a judgement which acknowledges the application of the Montreal Convention in international air transport cases. Although Brazil is party to the Warsaw and the Montreal Convention which both provide for their exclusivity, Brazilian courts have been rather reluctant in applying these conventions and tended to give precedence to national law, in particular the Brazilian Consumer Defence Code.

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CJEU clarifies burden of proof for timely information on flight cancellation

In case of cancellation of a flight, according to Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 the carrier shall be exempt from the obligation to pay compensation if the passengers were informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure.

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CJEU: bird strikes qualify as "extraordinary circumstances"

In a highly anticipated judgement, the CJEU held  today that a collision between an aircraft and a bird, as well as any damage caused by that collision, are not intrinsically linked to the operating system of the aircraft, with the result that such a collision is not by  its nature or origin inherent in the  normal exercise of the activity  of the air carrier concerned and  is outside its actual control.  Accordingly,  a collision between an  aircraft and a bird is an extraordinary circumstance within the meaning of the regulation.

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Russia to become Member of the Montreal Convention

 Federal Law No. 52-FZ, published on April 4, 2017 will make Russia part of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air 1999 (Montreal Convention). The relevant amendments to the Russian Air Code are made by a separate Bill No. 28636-7.

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