A passenger who reserved his or her flight through a travel agency may bring an action for compensation for a long flight delay against the air carrier before the courts of the place of departure of the flight
Notwithstanding the absence of a contract between that passenger and the carrier, such an action comes within ‘matters relating to a contract’ within the meaning of the regulation on jurisdiction, with the result that it may be brought before the courts of the place of supply of the air carriage service.
Ms Libuše Králová entered into a package travel contract with a Czech travel agency consisting of, first, carriage by air between Prague (Czech Republic) and Keflavík (Iceland), operated by the Danish air carrier Primera Air Scandinavia, and, second, accommodation in Iceland.
Ms Libuše Králová’s Prague-Keflavík flight, of 25 April 2013 was delayed by four hours. She subsequently brought an action for compensation for an amount of €400 against Primera Air Scandinavia before the Obvodní soud pro Prahu 8 (District Court, Prague 8) pursuant to the regulation on the rights of air passengers.
That court has doubts as to its jurisdiction to rule on that dispute since, first, pursuant to the regulation on jurisdiction,2 actions against undertakings established in a given Member State must, in principle, be brought in that Member State. In addition, second, the special provisions on ‘matters relating to a contract’ of that regulation allowing an action also to be brought before the courts of the place of performance of an obligation (pursuant to the case-law, 3 those courts are, in respect of air carriage services, notably the courts of the place of departure of the flight) are applicable, in principle, only where there is a contractual relationship between the parties concerned.
However, Ms Libuše Králová entered into a contract not with the air carrier but with a travel agency. The Czech court asks the Court of Justice whether, in the present case, there is a contractual relationship between the passenger and the carrier, allowing the former to bring an action against the latter before it because that court is the court of the place of departure of the delayed flight.
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