The French Court of Cassation elaborated on an extensive interpretation of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 regarding the rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 1, 30 novembre 2016, 15-21590

The pre   sent case concerned the common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights. Mrs. X. bought two plane tickets for herself and her husband for Emirates flight from Paris to Kuala-Lumpur via Dubai. On departure from Paris, the flight was delayed by more than two hours compared to the scheduled time. As a result, Mr. and Mrs. X missed their connection in Dubai.

Therefore, Mr. and Mrs. X. boarded the next day on another flight and arrived in Kuala Lumpur with a delay of about ten hours.
On that occasion, Mrs X. filed an action against the company Emirates before the local Paris court (La juridiction de proximité de Paris) under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.
The aforementioned court ordered company Emirates to pay Mr and Mrs X the sum of EUR 600 each, as compensation, with interest at the statutory rate, as well as a certain sum in reimbursement of Taxi charges.
The company Emirates lodged an appeal before the French Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) on the grounds that the local Paris court violated by misapplication, Articles 3, 6 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004.
The Court of cassation referred to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 26 February 2013 (Folkerts, Case C-11/11) according to which compensation is payable, on the basis of Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004, to a passenger on directly connecting flight operated by the same carrier who has arrived at the final destination at least three hours later than the scheduled arrival time.
Thus, the Court of Cassation considered that, having suffered a delay of more than three hours on arrival in Kuala Lumpur, which was their final destination, Mr. and Mrs. X. were entitled to compensation regardless of whether the flight in question, which was the correspondence of a flight departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State  to which the Treaty applies within the meaning of Article 3, paragraph 1 a) of the Regulation and which delay was the cause of the missed connection in Dubai, was departing from an airport located in a third country and destined for another third country and carried out by a non-Community air carrier.
Consequently, the Court of cassation dismissed the appeal of the company Emirates and ordered it to pay Mr. and Mrs. X the overall sum of 2,500 euros.

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