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R (ON THE APPLICATION OF MONARCH AIRLINES LTD (IN ADMINISTRATION)) V AIRPORT COORDINATION LTD

Lloyd's Law Reporter

R (ON THE APPLICATION OF MONARCH AIRLINES LTD (IN ADMINISTRATION)) V AIRPORT COORDINATION LTD

[2017] EWCA Civ 1892, Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Lord Justice Floyd, Lord Justice Newey and Lady Justice Asplin, 22 November 2017

Carriage (air) - Insolvency - Airline in administration - Allocation of airport slots - Council Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports

Monarch Airlines, the appellant, had entered into administration pursuant to an order made on 1 October 2017. ACL, the respondent, was the coordinator responsible for allocating slots at, among others, Gatwick and Luton airports under the EU Slots Regulation. Shortly before entering into administration, Monarch Airlines had requested an allocation of slots at the relevant airports for summer 2018. The Regulation provided for allocation of currently held slots to the same air carrier again, provided they were in fact being used in the previous period. Allocation of the slots would enable the administrators to exchange these slots with other airlines for less valuable slots against a payment of money. ACL informed Monarch Airlines that it would not allocate the slots to it, but would reserve them pending a proposal to revoke or suspend Monarch's operating licence. Monarch applied for judicial review. The Divisional Court judges dismissed the claim but permitted judicial review. The questions before the Court of Appeal were whether Monarch had ceased to be an "air carrier" to which slots could be allocated; whether such allocation would be inconsistent with the purposes of the Regulation; and whether the court should exercise discretion to deny Monarch the relief it sought.

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