German Supreme Court: no compensation from non-EU carrier for delay of connecting fligth departing from non-EU airport

In the two cases decided by the German Supreme Court (BGH) recently, the plaintiffs each had booked long haul flights with non Commnunity carriers. In both cases the transportation consisted of two segments, a feeder flight departing from the EU to a non EU hub and a connecting flight departing from this hub outside the EU to the final destination. In both cases the connecting flights were delayed more than 8 hrs and the plaintiffs sued for compensation pursuant to Reg. (EC) 261/2004.In its judgements X ZR 12/12 and X ZR 14/12, both of Nov. 13, 2012, the BGH held that Reg. (EC) 261/2004 did not apply as the delayed connecting flights were operated by non-EU carriers and departed from non EU airports. The fact that the transportation in each case started from Frankfurt/Main made no difference as each flight had to be assessed separately. The BGH thus followed the judgment of the ECJ in case C-173/07 (Schenkel v Emirates) where the ECJ had defined the term “fligth” as an air transport operation constituting a unit of the transport.Source: BGH press release 190/12 of Nov. 13, 2012

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