| 16 October, 2017

Emirates airline seeks legal advice on UK court ruling

Ruling entitles passengers to claim compensation for flight delays

An Emirates Airlines ticket desk stands empty at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., March 21, 2017.

An Emirates Airlines ticket desk stands empty at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., March 21, 2017.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Emirates airline said it is currently seeking legal advice on its options after the UK’s Court of Appeal ruled that the carrier’s passengers are entitled to compensation for flight delays.

The ruling late last week said that passengers flying with non-European-Union airlines can claim compensation if a flight departing from the UK is delayed by at least three hours at the final destination.

“The ruling means that passengers of non-EU airlines who had experienced a delay on the first leg of a flight, which caused them to miss a connecting flight and, as a result, arrived at their final destination at least three hours late can claim compensation of up to €600 [Dh2,926]...” said a statement on the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority website.

Emirates said it was “very disappointed” by the court ruling on its flights from the UK involving a stopover in Dubai, and that it was seeking legal advice.

“As one of the world’s largest airlines, we have always complied rigorously with all legal requirements and regulations as set by the relevant authorities, and these findings will not impact this commitment,” an Emirates spokesperson said via email.

The ruling comes after the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority launched in February this year action against five airlines for denying passengers compensation for delayed flights. The five airlines facing action were Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and American Airlines.

When the legal action was first launched in February, Emirates said the UK’s aviation authority was using a blanket application of the European law. The Dubai-based carrier said at the time that while it ensures the safety of its passengers, there are many incidents beyond its control that can cause delays such as flight disruptions, strikes and airport closures.

When contacted by Gulf News, Etihad did not comment on the latest court ruling.

In its latest statement, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority said it has written to Emirates, “and asked the airline to be good to its word and accept the Court of Appeal judgement.”

It also said it wrote to Etihad, American Airlines and Singapore Airlines to ensure they comply with the ruling immediately.

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