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Discussions on APR continue

Airline representatives were invited to attend a half-day session in Brussels on 18 April, held at IATA premises, as part of the fact-finding study on air passenger rights (APR) conducted by Steer on behalf of the European Commission.

As well as airline associations (IATA, AIRE and ERA), several airline representatives (Air France/KLM, airBaltic, LOT, Lufthansa Group, Air Canada, Etihad) participated in the meeting that was initiated by the consultant with the aim of gathering specific examples and gain more understanding about the current situation on APR (regulated by EU 261/2004). At the beginning of the working session, delegates from Steer informed delegates about the current status of the ongoing study and thanked everyone for their active contribution in the stakeholder consultation, including ERA and its member airlines. The discussion was grouped around the following agenda topics: monitoring and enforcement, ADR, claim agencies, experience with airports and ground handlers and PRM issues. Steer was particularly interested to discuss examples of different approaches to enforcement, different interpretations of the regulation/application of CJEU case law, different assessment of extraordinary circumstances, imposition of sanctions etc. that all contribute to a fragmented enforcement of APR. Understanding the situation in member states with a combined NEB/ADR that can address individuals’ claims working for airlines, compared to other member states that have multiple separate bodies to deal with, was also brought to the table. Further questions aimed at reviewing/assessing how extraordinary circumstances vary by NEB and what difficulties this involves. Representatives also exchanged views on how the interaction with claim agencies works in practice, varying depending on size, approach or on the different jurisdictions. The last agenda topic was dedicated to care and assistance provision with a special focus on PRMs (also in light of the Commission’s planned revision of the PRM interpretative guidelines).