CJEU: No Claim for Compensation under the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation if Air Carrier is Lacking Valid Operating Licence

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

In 2017 the claimants had booked a holiday package to Mallorca with TUI Germany including flights with Sundair. Five days before departure they were informed that they were rebooked to other flights operated by other airlines wtih an outward flight arrving in Mallorca more than 13 hrs later and a return flight arrivng in Germany more than 3 hrs later than orginally booked. They filed a law suit against Sundair for compensation according to Reg. (EC) No. 261/2004. At the time of the booking, Sundair had applied for an operating licence but only recieved same after the scheduled flight dates.

Article 2 (a) defines the term "air carrier" as "an air transport undertaking with a valid operating licence".  The CJEU therefore held that a company like Sundair which had only applied for an operating licence but not yet received same could not be regarded as an "air carrier" pursuant to Reg. (EC) 261/2004. Hence, passengers are not entitled to any compensation claim under the Regulation if such flight is cancelled.

Case details: CJEU Decision of Dec. 6, 2018 in case C-292/28 - Sundair.