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EU261 proposals by the Croatian presidency

The Croatian presidency has started discussions on air passenger rights legislation at Council level, with the ambitious aim of the 15 June for the Transport Council to adopt a general approach and finish the file by the end of the year. The proposal on the table redefines ‘feeder flights’, proposes a new redirection time threshold as well as an increased time threshold for compensation delay.

The proposal, which could lead to the reform of the existing regulation, would give passengers the right to receive compensation by the operating air carrier in case of cancellations unless:

  • Rerouting is offered to the final destination with a delay at arrival indicated in their reservation of no more than:
  • five hours for journeys of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • nine hours for journeys between 1500 and 3500 kilometres or less, as well as for intra-EU journeys over 3500 kilometres; and
  • twelve hours for extra-EU journeys of 3500 kilometres or more.
  • The cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances or unexpected safety shortcomings and cancellation could not have been avoided if the air carrier had taken all reasonable measures.
  • The cancellation occurs on the connecting flight operated entirely outside the EU.
  • The cancelled flight arrives/departs from an airport:
  • with average passenger traffic less than 1 million per year, or
  • situated in an outermost region of the EU, or
  • served on the basis of public services obligation as prescribed by Article 16 of Regulation EC 1008/2008.  

In case of delayed flights, passengers would be entitled to compensation unless they reach their destination indicated in their reservation after five hours for journeys of 1,500 kilometres or less (up from three hours). In terms of connecting flights, the term ‘feeder flight’ is replaced with the term ‘previous’ and compensation thresholds for transfer times and different length of flights is removed from the text.