A new statement by the European Court of Justice means bird strikes may not count as an ‘extraordinary circumstances’, potentially allowing UK passengers to make tens of thousands of claims for compensation.
While courts in the UK usually rule in favour of passengers, some have been hesitant to do so until there is more clarity on the ruling. A decision on the matter was requested with the European Court of Justice in November 2015. Today's preliminary statement by the Advocate General indicates the ECJ may rule in favour of passengers.
An early estimate of the amount of compensation that could be paid out to claims on hold for delays caused by bird strikes is currently £84 million.
The issue of bird strikes was brought up in a recent Czech ruling. In response, the Advocate General has now stated that airlines should be responsible for compensation for delays caused by bird strikes.
Although the opinion of the Advocate General is not legally binding, the solicitors of Bott and Co believe that ‘the ruling will be consistent with the official judgement that is expected to follow in the coming months and should be considered a powerful comment on this legal argument.’
Any ruling on the interpretation of the legislation would be legally binding throughout Europe including the UK, meaning more pounds in your pocket when your flight is delayed or cancelled.
Written by: Team Flight-delayed