Air India has won a crucial court battle in a passenger dispute in the United Kingdom.
A bench of the English Court of Appeal, in particular, has ruled in the airline’s favour.
Initially, a District Judge had ruled against the airline in a dispute about the applicability of EU compensation laws to a single booking in which only one leg – the only one under EU or UK jurisdiction – was delayed.
The third leg of the passenger’s journey was delayed due to a late departure from Heathrow Airport, causing difficulties in her final arrival at her destination.
Following a complete hearing, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Air India, finding that prior European Court of Justice case law upheld the “single-unit” approach for multiple-leg journeys booked under the same reservation.
Air India successfully claimed that in this case, since the Claimant’s journey originated from a non-UK or non-EU destination, there was no reason why this principle should not be applied.
“What’s remarkable about this decision is that it’s one of the first cases in which the Court of Appeal has been challenged to decide EU law post-Brexit,” said Daniel Powell of Air India’s lawyers, Zaiwalla & Co.
“At the hearing, the Court of Appeal considered the intention of ECJ judges when making their judgement, and the Court of Appeal determined not to interpret these principles differently in the post-Brexit context.” “Had the Claimant won their appeal, airlines could have faced a slew of additional claims, with a potentially significant economic impact on an industry already reeling from the Covid-19 outbreak.”