FLIGHTRIGHT GMBH V AIR NOSTRUM, LINEAS AÉREAS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO SA
Joined Cases C-274/16, C-447/16 and C-448/16, Court of Justice of the European Union, 7 March 2018
Carriage (air) - Jurisdiction - Connecting flight operated by different air carriers - Concept of "matters relating to a contract" - Concept of "place of performance" - Right of air passengers to compensation for denied boarding and for long delay of a flight - Action for compensation brought against operating air carrier not domiciled in the territory of a member state or with which the passengers do not have contractual relation - Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 - Regulation (EC) No 44/2001, article 5(1) - Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, article 7(1)
This was three joined cases all concerning preliminary references of questions from German courts concerning the performance of air carriage. In Case 447/16, the passenger had booked to travel to Beijing with Hainan Airlines, a carrier domiciled outside the European Union. The first flight, from Berlin to Brussels and operated by a carrier domiciled in Brussels, took place as scheduled, but the second flight, operated by Hainan Airlines, never took place. The passenger argued before the Berlin court that Brussels was the place of performance of the second flight. The CJEU held that in such circumstances, Regulation 44/2001 article 5 did not apply to a carrier domiciled abroad and the jurisdiction of the courts of the member state were to be determined by the laws of the member state. In Case C-448/16, the passengers had booked flights from Melilla to Frankfurt, with a connection in Madrid. A delay on the first flight, which was operated by a domestic Spanish carrier, caused them to miss the second leg of the flight.
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