CJEU: air carriers can be sued under special rules of jurisdiction even when a flight is part of a travel package and there is no contract between the air carrier and passenger
The Court of Justice has ruled today in Primera Air Scandinavia (C-215/18), on which jurisdiction can hear a claim made by a passenger (seeking compensation for a delayed flight) against a (Danish) air carrier, when the flight was part of a travel package purchased by a travel agent, under Brussels I Regulation 44/2001.
The passenger brought the claim before the Czech courts in Czechia, the place from which the flight departed, rather than before the Danish courts in Denmark, the place in which the defendant air carrier is established (under the general rules of jurisdiction provided in the Brussels I Regulation).
The Czech referring court therefore sought interpretation of the special rule of jurisdiction provided under Article 5(1) of Brussels I Regulation 44/2001, and whether in this case, the fact that the passenger did not have a direct contract with the air carrier meant the claim could be covered by ‘matters relating to a contract’.
The Court has held that this concept has a legally broad meaning, and that the ‘air carrier’ is included, as a third party contracting with the passenger, there being no need for an actual contract between them.