Germany: Supreme Court to hear cases on airline personnel strikes as “extraordinary circumstances”

On June 5, 2012, the German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) will hear two cases involving flight cancellations due to airline personnel strikes. In one case the appelate court (LG Köln) had held that the operating carrier may not refer to a strike of its own personnel as an “extraordinary circumstance”, in the other case the second instance court (LG Frankfurt/Main) had decided to the contrary.There is no consensus yet whether or not a strike of the opreation carrier’s own personnel can constitute “extraordinary circumstances” pursuant to article 5 sec 3 of Reg. 261/2004. It may therefore well be that the BGH lodges another reference for a prelimiary ruling of the ECJ to get a binding interpretation.

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