Good news for passengers. Bad news for airlines
The ECJ has just released its decision in the case of Airhelp v SAS and it looks like bad news for airlines.
Following a strike by pilots in April 2019 SAS cancelled more than 4,000 flights at short notice. They refused to give compensation to their passengers under Regulation 261/2004 on the grounds of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ – not least because this might cost them up to €117,000,000.
The ECJ held that such a strike was inherent in the operation of an airline and therefore not an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ – meaning that passengers will have to be compensated according to the tariff laid down in Regulation 261. No wonder airlines hate the Regulation.
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