More pressure on airlines after EU ruling

Passengers can get compensation for technical delays
Airlines are facing even more pressure in Europe following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that they will have to pay compensation to passengers if flights are cancelled or delayed due to unforeseen technical problems.
The case was brought by a Dutch couple whose flight from Quito, Ecuador, to Amsterdam was delayed by 29 hours. KLM had refused to pay compensation, saying that the technical faults behind the delay were extraordinary circumstances.
Under EU law, airlines do not have to pay compensation if a cancellation or delay is due to “extraordinary circumstances” that cannot be avoided, like strikes, poor weather or political instability.
KLM argued that the components that caused the delay had not exceeded their average lifetime and that the manufacturer had not provided information about what could happen when the parts reached a certain age.
But the court said that while technical problems could constitute extraordinary circumstances, for example in acts of sabotage or terrorism, the same could not be said for maintenance issues.


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