Airlines

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German Court: air carrier liable for allergic reaction to hot towel

In a recent judgement the Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main held that an air carrier was liable for a passenger's allergic reaction to the hot towels distributed during the flight. In October 2010, the plaintiff traveled on a fligth from India to Germany. She told one of the flight attendants that the hot towels could cause an allergic reaction of her body and asked not to distribute these towels during the flight. Despite this request, the towels were distributed and the plaintiff suffered from a respiatory distress which required immediate medical treatment after landing.

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ICAO: Tokyo Convention amended by new Protocol

On 4 April 2014, an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conference in Montreal adopted a Protocol to amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board Aircraft 1963 (Tokyo Convention). The Protocol will come into force when 22 member states ratify the instrument.

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U.S. Supreme Court: Frequent flier claim preempted by Airline Deregulation Act

Northwest terminated Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg’s membership in its frequent flyer program, apparently based on a provision in the fre­quent flyer agreement that gave Northwest sole discretion to deter­mine whether a participant had abused the program. Rabbi Ginsberg filed a suit, asserting, that Northwest had breached its contract by revoking his membership status without valid cause and had violated the duty of good faith and fair dealing because it terminated his membership in a way that contravened his reasonable expectations.

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German Supreme Court (BGH) asks CJEU for preliminary ruling in air ticket pricing case

According to Article 23(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, air fares and air rates available to the general public shall include the applicable conditions when offered or published in any form, including on the Internet, for air services from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies.

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CJEU: a Member State must not require an air carrier licensed in another Member State to obtain permission to enter its airspace

International Jet Management, an airline company with its seat in Austria, operated private flights from Moscow and Ankara to Germany without having the authorisation, required by the German legislation, to enter German airspace. In criminal proceedings against International Jet Management, the German Apellate Court (Oberlandesgericht Braunschweig) filed a request for preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In its judgement of March 18, 2014, the Grand Chamber of the Court came to the following conclusion:

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EU Commission revises guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines

On February 20, 2014, the European Commission released new Guidelines for the assessment of State aid to airports and airlines. The revised Guidelines which follow from a public consultation in 2011 with the purpose to reassess the Commission's former 2005 Guidelines introduce substantial changes:

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European Parliament publishes report on air passenger rights revision

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament published a report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

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CJEU Advocate General: EU law allows air carriers pricing freedom - including services such as checking in baggage

In August 2010, the air carrier Vueling added a surcharge of €40 to the base price of airline tickets (€241.48) purchased by Ms Arias Villegas when she checked in two pieces of baggage online. Ms Villegas therefore lodged a complaint against Vueling, claiming that the contract of carriage by air concluded with that undertaking contained an unfair term.

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USA: DOT fines Qantas for not informing passengers of opportunity to leave delayed aircraft

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that Qantas Airways violated federal rules last March by not informing passengers on a delayed aircraft at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport that they had the opportunity to leave the plane as it sat at the gate for an extended period of time with the door open.  DOT fined Qantas USD 90,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

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Aviation Safety Network: accident fatalities at record low in 2013

The 2013 airliner accident statistics released by the Aviation Safety Network on January 1, 2014 shows a record low total of 265 airliner accident fatalities, as a result of 29 fatal airliner accidents. Thus, the year 2013 was a very safe year for commercial aviation: the number of fatalities is significantly lower than the ten-year average of 720 fatalities. Three out of 29 accident airplanes (10%) were operated by airlines on the E.U. “black list” as opposed to three out of 23 (13%) the year before.

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