CJEU: A collision between an aircraft and a bird is an ‘extraordinary circumstance’
However, where an authorised expert finds after the collision that the aircraft concerned is airworthy, the carrier cannot justify the delay by invoking the need to carry out a second check
On 10 August 2013, Ms Marcela Pešková and Mr Jirí Pešká wished to travel from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Ostrava (Czech Republic) by taking a flight operated by the Czech airline Travel Service. Before its departure to Ostrava, the aircraft in question had already flown from Prague to Burgas, from Burgas to Brno (Czech Republic) and from Brno to Burgas.
During the flight from Prague to Burgas, a technical failure in a valve was found. Its repair took 1 hour and 45 minutes. Subsequently, according to Travel Service, the aircraft collided with a bird during the landing of the flight from Burgas to Brno, which meant that the aircraft’s technical condition had to be checked. That check was first carried out by a local company authorised to do so. Nonetheless, the owner of the aircraft, the company Sunwing, insisted that a Travel Service technician travel to Brno from another town in the Czech Republic in order to check that the aircraft was indeed in an airworthy condition. Ultimately, neither check found any damage that might call into question the airworthiness of the aircraft.
As a result of those two unexpected events, Ms Pešková and Mr Pešká’s flight to Ostrava was delayed by 5 hours and 20 minutes.
Ms Pešková and Mr Pešká subsequently brought an action before the Obvodní soud pro Prahu 6 (Prague 6 District Court, Czech Republic) claiming that Travel Service should pay them CZK 6 825 (approximately €250). In their submission, the EU Regulation on compensation for air passengers, 1 as interpreted by the Court of Justice, 2 granted them the right to such compensation since their flight had arrived at the destination with a delay of three hours or more.
Latest News from
Spring 2021 Economic Forecast: Rolling up sleeves14/05/2021 13:25:00
The Spring 2021 Economic Forecast projects that the EU economy will expand by 4.2% in 2021 and by 4.4% in 2022.
Coronavirus variants: Commission calls for limiting essential travel from India14/05/2021 09:25:00
The Commission calls on EU Member States to take coordinated action to further restrict travel from India on a temporary basis, with a view to limiting the spread of the B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India.
Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager following today's Court judgments on the Amazon and Engie tax State aid cases in Luxembourg13/05/2021 15:25:00
Statement given yesterday by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager following the Court judgments on the Amazon and Engie tax State aid cases in Luxembourg.
Europe's Digital Decade: Commission launches consultation and discussion on EU digital principles13/05/2021 13:25:00
As a follow-up to its Digital Decade Communication of 9 March, the Commission yesterday launched a public consultation on the formulation of a set of principles to promote and uphold EU values in the digital space.
European Green Deal: Commission aims for zero pollution in air, water and soil13/05/2021 12:43:00
The European Commission yesterday adopted the EU Action Plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” – a key deliverable of the European Green Deal and the main topic of this year's EU Green Week.
Sahel and Central Africa: €210 million in EU humanitarian aid12/05/2021 09:25:00
The EU is reaffirming its solidarity with vulnerable people in countries in the Sahel and Central Africa through a humanitarian budget of €210 million in 2021.
Security and defence: EU to move forward on common security and defence11/05/2021 15:25:00
The Council yesterday approved conclusions affirming its determination to move forward on implementing the EU's security and defence agenda, enabling the EU to take more responsibility for its own security.
Trade of dual-use items: new EU rules adopted11/05/2021 13:25:00
The EU has upgraded its legislation on the export controls applicable to sensitive dual-use goods and technologies such as cyber-surveillance tools.
Conference on the Future of Europe: make your voice heard10/05/2021 15:25:00
Conference on the Future of Europe: make your voice heard.