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Canada: new Air Price Advertising Rules

In December 2011, the Government of Canada announced that the Canadian Transportation Agency would develop regulations requiring all-inclusive air price advertising. These regulations are now published on Part II of the Canada Gazette.

The regulations support two key objectives:

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Canada: class action over expiring loyalty program points

On March 6, 2012, the Quebec Superior Court authorized a class action against Groupe Aeroplan Inc. relating to its decision to implement expiry dates on its loyalty program points (“Miles”). Under the new Aeroplan Terms and Conditions, if there is no activity in a member's Aeroplan account within a 12-month period, the Miles will expire. Accumulated Miles will also expire if they are not used within seven years of acquisition.

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Canada: Transportation Agency decides in flight cancellation and overbooking cases

In five separate decisions of June 28, 2012, the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled on the reasonableness of international tariff provisions of Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat, and domestic tariff provisions of Air Canada and WestJet relating to the overbooking, cancellation, delay and rerouting of flights.

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Canada: Supreme Court decides on jurisdiciton over foreign companies

Two cases, consoldiated on appeal, both involved personal injury claims by Canadian citizens arising from accidents they suffered during their holidays in Cuba. One of the defendants, Club Resorts Ltd., was the company that managed the two hotels where the accidents took place. Club Resorts argued that Ontario lacked jurisdiction over the actions, or in the alternative, that the doctrine of forum non conveniens should apply. The motion judges in both cases dismissed this argument and held that the Ontario courts had jurisdiction. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld both decisions.

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Canada: body height is not a disability

Malcolm Johnson filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) against Air Canada with respect to additional fees charged for economy class seats that afford extra leg room. Mr. Johnson submitted that, due to his height, he could not sit in a “regular seat” without endangering his health due to restricted circulation in his legs from cramped seating.

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Canada: change in airline pet policies ordered by CTA

Upon complaints by three passengers who all suffer from severe cat allergies, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has ruled that Air Canada, Jazz and WestJet need to amend their policies with respect to the carriage of cats as carry-on baggage in the aircraft cabin as to include either:

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ECJ Advocate General delivers opinion on EU Emissions Trading Scheme

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme Directive (2003/87/EC) established a scheme for greenhouse gas emission trading within the European Union. In 2008 the European Parliament and the European Council adopted the EU Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme Directive (2008/101/EC) to bring aviation activities within the scope of the EU scheme. Under the latter directive, from January 1 2012, all aircraft that arrive or depart from EU airports will be subject to a cap on their carbon dioxide emissions.

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Canada: no suspension of Warsaw Convention limitation period because of a plaintiff’s disability

The Plaintiff flew with Air France on May 23, 2003, from Toronto to Paris. She was seated in a wheelchair and required assistance to access her seat on the airplane. Upon arrival at CDG airport in France, the Plaintiff claimed that Air France personnel failed to assist despite numerous requests by her mother. Because of this failure to assist, the Plaintiff’s mother had  to carry her daughter to the waiting wheelchair on the bridge.

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Canada: air carrier not liable for delay caused by mechanical problem

The Plaintiffs were booked on an Alitalia flight from Bari to Rome and then on to Montreal. Because of a mechanical problem, which was identified only shortly before departure, the flight from Bari to Rome was delayed almost 3 hrs and they missed their connecting flight to Montreal.

However, the claim was dismissed as Alitalia could produce evidence that once the problem was discovered, the aircraft was repaired as quickly as possible and thus proved that it took all reasonable measures to avoid the delay.

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Canada: Sabre law suit against IATA rejected

The plaintiffs Sabre Inc. and Sabre International Inc. claimed damages and other relief from the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) for breach of confidence, in respect of booking related data provided by Sabre to the Billing and Settlement Plan for Canada/Bermuda (“Canada/Bermuda BSP”) and to the other Billing and Settlement Plans (the “Other BSPs”) in other jurisdictions. The claim relates to PaxIS, an airline industry business intelligence product based in part on ticketing data that IATA collects and processes through its billing and settlement plans (BSP).