A recent court ruling against the airline Emirates means that thousands of their customers are now entitled to payouts of up to €600. Under EU legislation, passengers have the right to compensation of flights where delays are over 3 hours. This is known as EC261, and also applies on all flights where passengers are too late to miss a connecting flight.
However, Emirates, along with several other major airlines had argued that as these passengers onward flights began outside the EU, the laws shouldn’t apply and passengers shouldn’t be entitled to compensation.
Last year, Emirates put forward an appeal against the case. This was rejected by the Appeal Court, and the Supreme Court has now ordered the airline to pay out millions in backdated payments to its customers. The claims were rejected on the grounds that their case didn’t present an arguable point of law. The ECJ (European Court of Justice) had also previously rejected the case, which was noted by the Appeal Court.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) now plans to progress with its claim against the airline, who will be required to amend their policies in the future. Emirates have also been ordered by the court to pay claims that had previously been refused.
CAA’s chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Emirates’ priority should be looking after its passengers, not finding ways in which they can prevent passengers accessing their rights. They have failed in their attempts to overturn the Court of Appeal Judgement, which now means that millions of pounds worth of compensation is due to its customers. It is time for Emirates to pay what is owed.”
An Emirates spokesperson commented on the ruling, saying: “We are very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling denying us leave to appeal against the earlier judgement of the High Court in relation to the application of Regulation EC261 to flights of non-Community carriers originating outside of the EU. As one of the world’s largest airlines, we always comply with all legal requirements and based on the judgement, we’ll advise customers of our approach in due course.”