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EU261 new proposal of the Croatian presidency

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R261 joint airline industry position.pdf
New Croatian presidency text March.pdf

Continuing the work that has started under the Croatian presidency, the Aviation Working Party discussed a new text on APR legislation at Council level last week, with the ambitious aim for the 15 June Transport Council to adopt a 'General Approach' and finish the file by the end of the year. The aviation industry has reacted on the first proposal from 12 February with an updated position paper (that can be downloaded from the top of this page), the comments and suggestions of which are still valid.

The differences between the text of 12 February and the new one are as folows:

First Presidency text (12/02/2020) 5123/20

  • exhaustive list of extraordinary circumstances missing the labour disputes;
  • additional list of flight safety shortcomings;
  • exemption from compensation for delays and cancellations of flights to/from small airports or in outermost regions;
  • trigger points for delay compensation maintained as in EC proposal;
  • partial ban of the no-show policy deleted and put in the article 14 on information;
  • compensation for delay at arrival of a journey after a missed connection; and
  • no compensation for late arrival at final destination if it is due to a delay or cancellation of a flight not in the scope (to prevent the application of the CSA EUCJ decision).

New Presidency text (06/03/2020) 5123/1/20 REV 1

  • Exhaustive list of extraordinary circumstances includes external labor disputes; “epidemy” is not included yet.
  • New definition of 'operating carrier': ''Operating air carrier' means an air carrier that performs or intends to perform a flight under a contract with a passenger or on behalf of another person, legal or natural, having a contract with that passenger. The fact that an operating air carrier uses the aircraft of another air carrier, with or without crew of that other carrier, shall not change the designation of the former air carrier as operating air carrier for the purposes of this Regulation.
  • Definition of extraordinary circumstances : 'extraordinary circumstances' means circumstances which by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control.
  • Definition of journey includes part of the journey on other modes of transport: 'journey' means a flight or a continued series of flights transporting the passenger from the initial airport of departure to his final destination in accordance with a single booking contract of carriage. The outward and the return journey are not the one and the same journey. For the implementation of this Regulation, this definition shall also apply to parts of the journey made with other modes of transport if this specific travel is included in the single contract of carriage.
  • Trigger points and compensation:
    • 5 hours – €250 for all intra-EU journeys and for extra EU journeys of 1,500km or less.
    • 9 hours – €400 for extra EU journeys from 1,500 to 3,500kms.
    • 12 hours – €600  for extra EU journeys above 3,500 km.
  • Extraordinary circumstances can be invoked in so far as 'they affect the flight concerned or the preceding flight' .
  • No exemption from compensation for delays and cancellations of flights to/from small airports or in outermost regions and PSO routes.
  • Compensation for delay at arrival of a journey after a missed connection.  
  • Partial ban of the no-show policy deleted and kept in the article 14 on information.
  • On the compensation for late arrival at final destination if it is due to a delay or cancellation of a flight not in the scope (to prevent the application of the CSA EUCJ decision), the new text keeps art. 5.1a.(iv) and 6.2 (iii).

Prior to the meeting, the attaches were informed that the proposed exemptions related to small airports, airports in outermost regions and PSOs (deleted from the new text because of lack of political support) were a recognition that EU261 can have a negative impact on connectivity. The industry expressed also its belief that the only other way to address the threat on connectivity is to have a calculation of the compensation for delay on a flight basis. Imposing the burden of compensations on a journey basis will be unbearable to regional carriers (inter alia) who risk going bust (as we have witnessed only recently) or choose to stop interlining. Either way, connectivity will suffer. Attaches were also reminded that the interlining rules in cases of missed connections guarantee that the passenger is rerouted and taken care. This could be enshrined in a revised regulation.