European Court of Justice

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CJEU: airline crew members can sue their employer at their "home base"

Ryanair and Crew link are companies established in Ireland. Ryanair is active in the international passenger air transport sector. Crewlink is specialised in the recruitment and training of cabin crew for airlines. Between 2009 and 2011, employees of Portuguese, Spanish and Belgian nationality were hired by Ryanair or by Crewlink, then assigned to Ryanair, as cabin crew (air hostesses and stewards ).

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CJEU Advocate General: Uber can be required to obtain the necessary licences under national law

In 2014 the Asociación Profesional Elite Taxi (‘Elite Taxi’), a professional organisation representing taxi drivers in the city of Barcelona, brought an action before Commercial Court No 3 in Barcelona asking the court, inter alia, to impose penalties on the Spanish company Uber Systems Spain SL (‘Uber Spain’), a company belonging to a group managing the Uber platform, for engaging in unfair competition towards Elite Taxi’s drivers. In particular, Elite Taxi maintained that Uber Spain is not entitled to provide the UberPop service in the city of Barcelona.

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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: a flight during which an unscheduled stopover took place cannot be regarded as cancelled

On Oct. 5, 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) provided another clarification regarding the interpretation of Reg. (EC) No. 261/2004. The case involved an Bulgarian Air Charter flight from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Dresden (Germany). The flight departed as scheduled but made an unscheduled stopover in Prague which caused a delay in arrvial at Dresden of  2 hours and 20 minutes.

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CJEU Advocate General: bird strikes do not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances'

In an opinion delivered on July 28, 2016, CJEU Advocate General Bot has concluded that bird strikes do not fall within the extraordinary circumstances defence currently available to air carriers according to Article 5 para 3 of Reg. (EC) 261/2004. In the Advocate General's opinion, such incidents are inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of an air carrier and therefore not 'extraordinary'. Although an opinion of an Advocate Genrral is not binding to the Court but only advisory in nature, the judges in most cases follow the recommedations expressed therein.

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CJEU clarifies remdies for downgrading in air travel

In a recently published judgement, the European Court of Justice has clarfied the rules applying to downgrading of air passagners according to Reg. (EC) No 261/2004.

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EU: Commission refers Germany to Court over VAT rules for travel agents

The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the Court of Justice of the European Union for its failure to properly apply the special value added tax (VAT) scheme for travel agents, as provided for in the VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC). The scheme aims to simplify and amend the VAT rules applicable to travel agencies selling travel packages within the EU. It is obligatory for all travel agents to apply the scheme, provided the conditions required in the Directive are met.

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CJEU decides on admissiblity of capping discounts in online travel bookings

Eturas is the holder of exclusive rights to, and administrator of, the E-TURAS system, a common online travel booking system in Lithuania. It allows travel agencies which have acquired by contract an operating licence from Eturas to offer travel bookings for sale on their websites, through a uniform presentation method determined by Eturas.

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CJEU: employers can claim for damages under Montreal for their empolyees' flight delays

Upon request of the Lietuvos Aukščiausiasis Teismas (Supreme Court of Lithuania) in proceedings between Air Baltic Corporation AS (‘Air Baltic’) and Lietuvos Respublikos specialiųjų tyrimų tarnyba (Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania - ‘the Investigation Service’), the Court of Justice of the European Union has provided an interpretation of the Montreal Convention.

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CJEU Advocate General: National Enforcement Body must not take enforcement measures to pursue claims of individual air passengers

Upon reference for preliminary ruling lodged by the Dutch Raad van State (State Council), the Advocate General of the CJEU has delivered an opinion according to which Article 16 of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004 only entrusts the National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) with the task to secure general compliance with the Regulation but not to pursue individual claims. Individual claims should rather be pursued before the courts. A concurrent competence of courts and national Enforcment Bodies could lead to different interpretations of the Regulation and cause legal uncertainty.

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