EU Commission calls for stricter enforcement of passenger rights legislation in Europe

European Commission – Press release

Commission calls for stricter enforcement of passenger rights legislation in Europe

Brussels, 03 July 2015

As millions of European citizens will be travelling during the summer period, today the Commission is calling for better application and enforcement of passenger rights legislation in the European Union. As a first remedy, the Commission today adopted interpretative guidelines clarifying the existing rules in the rail sector.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Transport is not about infrastructure, tracks, trains or trucks, it is about people. That is why the Commission has always put citizens at the heart of its transport policy. Under its leadership, the EU became the first area in the world where passengers have guaranteed rights across all forms of transport. Which is why I cannot accept that a lack of enforcement jeopardises this achievement. I therefore call on all Member States to ensure that EU legislation is correctly applied. The rail guidelines adopted today will provide some assistance. I also hope that the discussions in the Council on a new Regulation in the air sector can move forward, for the benefit of EU citizens.”

Addressed to the rail transport industry and to national authorities, the guidelines adopted today seek to clarify and strengthen the application and enforcement of rail passenger rights in the European Union. In particular, an assessment of the implementation of the Regulation and of the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) pointed at a need to clarify the following points:

  1. Information: All actors need to make information about travel, tariffs and tickets available to passengers, including in alternative formats for persons with disabilities.
  2. Delays, cancellations and missed connections: Passengers holding separate tickets under a single contract have equal rights as passengers with a single ticket.
  3. Rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility: Rail companies cannot ask for medical certificates as a precondition to sell a ticket, to allow these persons to use rail services or to justify their need for assistance.
  4. Complaint handling, enforcement and cooperation between national authorities: Railway companies and national authorities have to set up adequate complaint handling mechanisms. Railway companies have to reply to complainants within strict time frames.

Regarding the air sector, in 2013 the Commission proposed to amend the current Regulation on air passenger rights. The legislative procedure in the European Parliament and Council is ongoing. Existing rights have nevertheless already been further developed and strengthened by the case-law of the ECJ. The Commission has therefore decided to make available a summary of the most relevant judgements on air passenger rights and of their practical implications on its web page. They include compensation for delays, compensation for missed connecting flights or precisions to the notion of “extraordinary circumstances” under which airlines can be exempted from paying the compensation.


Protecting the rights of passengers across all transport modes is a long-standing commitment of the Commission. For this holiday season, EU Commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc recorded this video clip explaining why protecting passengers’ rights matters to the Commission.

Next steps. In addition to the Commission’s on-going information campaign to raise citizens’ awareness on passengers’ rights, the Commission services will also launch an impact assessment in order to examine options to further improve rail passenger rights in the EU. The Commission will also look into options for a legal framework for passenger rights when using different modes of transport for a single journey.

Passenger Name Records: MEPs back EU system with data protection safeguards

European Parliament: Press Release

Passenger Name Records: MEPs back EU system with data protection safeguards
LIBE Press release – Justice and home affairs − 15-07-2015 – 16:24

Draft EU rules on sharing and protecting the Passenger Name Record (PNR) data of people flying to or from the EU, and its use by member states and Europol to fight terrorism and serious transnational crime, were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday. This data must only be used to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute these crimes, said MEPs, inserting safeguards to ensure “the lawfulness of any storage, analysis, transfer and use of PNR data”.

“Without this EU system in place a number of EU governments will go it alone and create their own systems. That would leave gaps in the net and create a patchwork approach to data protection. With one EU-wide system, we can close the net and ensure high standards of data protection and proportionality are applied right across Europe. The emerging threat posed by so-called ‘foreign fighters’ has made this system even more essential”, said Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK).

“PNR is not a ‘silver bullet’ but it can be an invaluable weapon in the armoury. We will now open talks with national governments with a view to reaching a final agreement before the end of the year”, he added.

The amended rules were approved by 32 votes to 27. The mandate to open negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers was approved by 36 votes to 14, with 8 abstentions.

Only flights to and from the EU

The PNR rules would apply to air carriers and non-carriers such as travel agencies and tour operators operating “international flights”, i.e. those to or from the EU, according to the committee amendments. They would not apply to “intra-EU” flights between EU member states.

Offences covered

Under the amended rules, PNR data could be processed “only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and certain types of serious transnational crime”. The list approved by MEPs includes, for example, trafficking in human beings, sexual exploitation of children, drug trafficking, trafficking in weapons, munitions and explosives, money laundering and cybercrime.

Data protection safeguards

The application of these rules “must be duly justified and the necessary safeguards must be in place in order to ensure the lawfulness of any storage, analysis, transfer and use of PNR data”, says the approved text.

Safeguards inserted by MEPs include the following requirements:

  • Member states’ “Passenger Information Units” (PIUs) would be entitled to process PNR data only for limited purposes, such as identifying a passenger who may be involved in a terrorist offence or serious transnational crime and who requires further examination,
  • PIUs would have to appoint a data protection officer to monitor data processing and safeguards and act as a single contact point for passengers with PNR data concerns,
  • all processing of PNR data would have to be logged or documented,
  • passengers would have to be clearly and precisely informed about the collection of PNR data and their rights, and
  • stricter conditions would govern any transfer of data to third countries.

Data protection provisions prohibiting the use of sensitive data or the transfer of PNR data to private parties were also backed by MEPs,

Data retention period

PNR data transferred by air carriers and non-carriers would be retained in the national PIU for an initial period of 30 days, after which all data elements which could serve to identify a passenger would have to be “masked out”, and then for up to five years.

The “masked out” data would be accessible only to a limited number of PIU staff, with security training and clearance, for up to four years in serious transnational crime cases and five years for terrorism ones.

After the five years, PNR data would have to be permanently deleted, unless the competent authorities are using it for specific criminal investigations or prosecutions (in which case the retention of data would be regulated by the national law of the member state concerned).

Step up information-sharing among member states

MEPs inserted new provisions requiring member states to share PNR data with each other and with Europol and stipulating conditions for doing so. EU countries should use Europol’s Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) system to share PNR data. A one-stop shop could be created to register and pass on requests for information exchanges, MEPs suggest.

Next steps

This vote gives the rapporteur a mandate to start negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers to agree on the draft directive. The three-way talks between Parliament, Council and Commission negotiators (“trilogues”) should start soon.

Note to editors

In a resolution voted on 11 February 2015, Parliament committed itself “to work towards the finalisation of an EU PNR directive by the end of the year” (reiterated in a resolution voted on 9 July 2015) and encouraged the Council to make progress on the data protection package so that trilogues on both “could take place in parallel”.

The first trialogue on the data protection regulation took place on 24 June, after the Council agreed its general approach on 15 June. The Council agreed its general approach on the EU PNR proposal in April 2012.

In the chair: Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)

Procedure: co-decision (first reading), mandate for negotiations
REF. : 20150714IPR81601
Updated: 15-07-2015 – 20:25

CJEU judgment on air carrier liability under the Montreal Convention

Eleonore Prüller-Frey v Norbert Brodnig and Axa Versicherung AG
C-240/14, CJEU, 9 September 2015

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Air carrier liability in the event of accidents — Action for damages — Montreal Convention — Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 — Flight operated free of charge by the owner of a property in order to show that property to a prospective purchaser — Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 — Direct action provided for by national law against the civil-liability insurer

Non-applicability of Article 17 of the Montreal Convention to a non-paying passenger on a flight with the purpose of surveying a property. Direct action against insurer permitted.

The Court held:

1. Article 2(1)(a) and (c) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 of 9 October 1997 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 May 2002, and Article 1(1) of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded in Montreal on 28 May 1999 and approved on behalf of the European Union by Council Decision 2001/539/EC of 5 April 2001, must be interpreted as meaning that they preclude a determination on the basis of Article 17 of that Convention of a claim for damages brought by a person who — whilst she (i) was a passenger in an aircraft that had the same place of take-off and landing in a Member State and (ii) was being carried free of charge for the purpose of viewing from the air a property in connection with a property transaction planned with the pilot of that aircraft — was physically injured when the aircraft crashed.

2. Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) must be interpreted as meaning that, in a situation such as that of the case before the referring court, a person who has suffered damage is entitled to bring a direct action against the insurer of the person liable to provide compensation, where such an action is provided for by the law applicable to the non-contractual obligation, regardless of the provision made by the law that the parties have chosen as the law applicable to the insurance contract.

For further CJEU case law, see our European Law – Cases page.


CJEU judgment on denied boarding and cancellation

Corina van der Lans v Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV
C-257/14, CJEU, 17 September 2015

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Air transport — Passengers’ rights in the event of delay or cancellation of a flight — Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 — Article 5(3) — Denied boarding and cancellation — Long flight delay — Compensation and assistance to passengers — Extraordinary circumstances

The Court held Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which occurred unexpectedly, which is not attributable to poor maintenance and which was also not detected during routine maintenance checks, does not fall within the definition of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision.

For further CJEU case law, see our European Law – Cases page.


Air & Space Law 2015 – Volumes 3 and 4/5 now available

The following articles are contained in Volumes 3 and 4/5:

Wybo P. Heere, ‘Bibliography of Air Law 2014’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(4/5), 345–364

Pablo Mendes de Leon, ‘Book Review: Alejandro Piera Valdés, Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the International Civil Aviation – Legal and Policy Challenges, 486 pp. 2015’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(4/5), 341–344

Jochem Croon, ‘‘If You Do Not Know Where You Are Going, You Will End Up Somewhere Else’: Update on the Continuing Discussion on Technical Problems and Passenger Rights’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(4/5), 331–339

Ástríður Scheving Thorsteinsson, ‘Air Transport and the Agreement on the European Economic Area’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(4/5), 299–330

Peter Harbison, ‘Book Review: Air Transport in the Asia Pacific, edited by David Timothy Duval,Ashgate Pub Co. 2014’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 293–295

Wybo P. Heere, ‘Book Review: Marcus Schladebach: Lufthoheit, Jus Publicum, vol. 236, xxix-531 pp., Mohr Siebeck Tübingen 2014’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 291–292

Pavle Kilibarda, ‘The Militarization of Outer Space and the Liability Convention’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 271–290

Benjamyn Ian Scott, ‘Roadable Aircraft: An Analysis of the Current Legal Environment’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 255–269

Jae Woon Lee and Michelle Dy, ‘Mitigating ‘Effective Control’ Restriction on Joint Venture Airlines in Asia: Philippine AirAsia Case’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 231–253

Delphine Defossez, ‘The Single European Sky: What about the Liability Aspect?’ (2015) Air & Space Law, Vol. 40(3), 209–229

For further articles on or related to aviation law, see our Articles page.


IATA Legal Symposium 2016

IATA Legal Symposium 2016

Unrivalled for insight, relevance & value in aviation law

Exchange ideas and experiences, explore solutions and network with the airline industry’s foremost legal experts. With a reputation for insight, relevance and value among airline counsel, private practitioners and government lawyers alike, the IATA Legal Symposium is the world’s principal aviation law conference. Join us in Barcelona for an unrivalled examination of the contemporary and emerging legal challenges facing the sector.

  • When: February 17 – February 19, 2016
  • Where: Barcelona, Spain
  • Venue: The Hotel Arts, Barcelona
  • Audience: Airlines, Lawyers, Regulators and Policymakers

Proven to add value

The Legal Symposium 2015, held in Seoul, Korea, was widely lauded for its excellent program and engaging atmosphere. For example:

97% of our attendees agreed that the Legal Symposium was a valuable networking opportunity.
92% said that the conference content met or exceeded their expectations.
93% commended the overall value of attending the event.


Registration for Legal Symposium 2016 will open in October.

Attendee Type – Standard Fee
IATA Member Airline – $1,550.00
Non-IATA Member Airline – $1,975.00
Sister Trade Association – $1,550.00
Government Authorities or Governmental Agencies – $999.00
Airport Legal Counsel – $1,975.00
IATA Strategic Partner – $1,550.00
Other Delegates – $1,975.00

For further information, and registration information, visit

See our Events page for additional Aviation Law events.


EALA’s 10th Munich Liability Seminar – 14 September 2015


Liability, passenger rights, and insurance in the air transport and aerospace industries

14 September 2015
Hilton Hotel Munich Airport

Registration Form

The 10th Munich Liability Seminar will again cover a wide range of topical issues:
• New air traffic management technology will improve safety, but may change liability risks for manufacturers and operators. Will this re-quire new liability insurance solutions?
• Regulation 261/2004 – current issues and how air carriers can respond
• Liability issues resulting from overflight of conflict zones
• Update on toxic fumes in aircraft and air traffic disruptions resulting from volcanic ashes
• Update on liability of airports for birdstrikes
• Perhaps now more than ever, airframe manufacturers have available to them a range of strong defenses in aviation accident litigation filed in the United States, including
reinvigor-ated defenses based on personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens.
• The Germanwings crash has stirred a debate about whether moral damages/pain and suffering awards for victims of aviation accidents and their families should be increased. It has been proposed that an international instrument should govern these damages.


The Future of the Air Transport Industry – Rome, 4 June 2015

The Future of the Air Transport Industry
Rome, 4 June 2015
LUISS Guido Carli University , Viale Pola 12, Rome Aula Magna Mario Arcelli


8.30 – 9.30 Registration and welcome coffee

9.30 – 10.00 WELCOME ADDRESS by Laura Pierallini


Prof. Paolo Boccardelli, Dean, LUISS Business School, LUISS University, Rome.

10.00 – 11.15 Panel I – The Future Of The Aviation Market: Regulators’ Dilemmas

Moderators: Mr. Gianni Dragoni – Prof. Pablo Mendes de Leon (Journalist, Il Sole 24 Ore)– (Director, IIASL, University of Leiden)

Ms. Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Unit DG Mobility and Transport, European Commission.

Ms. Gabriella Muscolo, Commissioner, Antitrust Authority, Rome.

Mr. Alessio Quaranta, General Director, Italian Civil Aviation Authority, Rome.

The regulators will openly discuss their views on the challenges of the aviation industry, while also addressing the position of infrastructure.

11.15 – 13.00 Panel II – Market Access: Finding The Last Loopholes

Moderator: Mr. John Balfour, Partner, Clyde & Co LLP, London.

Mr. Fathi Atti, Head of Government and Aeropolitical Affairs, Etihad Airways, UAE.

Mr. Jorn Wegter, Group Legal Counsel, Air France KLM, Amsterdam.

Mr. Federico Bonaudi, Manager – Facilitation, Regional Airports & Parliament Affairs, ACI Europe, Brussels.

Mr. Giacomo Aiello, State Laywer, Avvocatura dello Stato, Rome.

Mr. Marcos Alvarez, General Counsel, Vueling Airlines S.A., Barcelona.

Experts and operators debate the opening of the aviation market and the role of airports in this process.

13.00 – 14.00 Light lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Panel III – Financing the airline industry: where is the best deal?

Moderator: Prof. Laura Pierallini, LUISS University and Studio Pierallini, Rome.

Mr. Morten L. Jakobsen, Partner, Gorrissen Federspiel, Copenhagen.

Dr. Donal Patrick Hanley, Managing Director, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Limited, Dublin.

Mr. Nikolai Ehlers, Partner, Ehlers, Ehlers & Partners, Munich.

Mr. Niels van Antwerpen, Vice President Legal, Aercap, Amsterdam.

Mr. Yazan Saoudi, Partner, Al Tamimi & Company, Dubai.

Mr. Alfonso Plana Bodén, Lawyer, Ari Consulting Group, Bogotá.

The financing of the airline industry is a critical issue for its development. Experts and operators will exchange views on the most topical matters.

15.30 – 16.45 Panel IV – Taxation And Charges: Local Problems And Global Solutions

Moderator: Prof. Mia Wouters, LVP Law and University of Ghent, Brussels.

Ms. Anne Frédérique Pothier, Head of Section, Eurocontrol, Brussels

Mr. Michael Gill, Executive Director, Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), Geneva.

Mr. Umberto Solimeno, President I.B.A.R., Country Manager Italy Air Canada, Rome.

Mr. Sergi Giménez, Partner, Fornesa Abogados, Barcelona.

Ms. Sorana Pop, Vice President Team Aviation Solution, Bucharest.

The panelists will examine increasing burdens on airline in light of sustainability of the industry.

16.45 – 17.00 Closing Session

Dr. Chris Schröder, Chief of Operations of various global aviation companies and guest lecturer at IIASL, Leiden University.

Presenting his views on recent aviation accidents, followed by

Concluding Remarks made by Prof. Pablo Mendes de Leon.

IAWA Reception at Studio Pierallini, Viale Liegi 28, Rome

Key Note: Ms. Patrizia Terlizzi – (Director, Fiumicino Airport)

Ms. Giovanna Laschena – (Director, Air Transport Development, ENAC)

For further information, visit the Luiss Business School website.

This event is FREE! Register here. Participation 8 ECTS.


Aviation Litigation Conference 2015 – Central Law Training

Aviation Litigation Conference 2015 – Central Law Training
30 September 2015 – London

This conference examines recent litigation and regulatory developments in the aviation sector. It covers a wide range of topics from recent European regulations, aircraft and engine redelivery disputes, and insurance. By bringing together leading aviation lawyers in both England and overseas, as well as in-house counsel, this conference provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to get an in-depth insight into current topics affecting this sector.

Session titles include:
• Passenger claims update: EC Regulation 261 updates and EU Directive on alternative dispute resolution
• The revised EU jurisdiction regime and implications for aviation claims
• Redelivery disputes: perspectives from both sides, early returns, presenting your case, common issues arising, technical input
• Aviation litigation trends and developments
• Updates on aviation insurance
• International perspectives
• In-house perspectives

Paul Phillips
Marcos Alvarez Almodovar
Sue Barham
Russell Binch
Jonathan Chambers
Simon McNamara
Wiebke Seyffert
Phil Seymour
Philip Shepherd QC
Robin Springthorpe

CPD: 6 hours

For further information, see here.


2016 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium Dates Announced

2016 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium Dates Announced

Venu Inc Press Release


The Villas of Grand Cypress will be the official host hotel for the 2016 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 27, 2015) – Venu, Inc., producers of the Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, revealed the host property for the 2016 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium will be The Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Program dates are Wednesday, January 20 – Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The 2016 hotel room rates begin at $199.00/night (club suite) inclusive of the resort fee but excludes state and local taxes.

The general program format will consist of a speaker and sponsor dinner on Wednesday evening (invitation only), general sessions on Thursday and Friday, and a Saturday review course hosted by the Florida Bar Association.

About the Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium

The Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium is endorsed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and is one of the most prestigious and well attended Aviation Law programs nationwide. This symposium provides a forum for aviation attorneys, insurance personnel, and other professionals involved and interested in aviation law and insurance to discuss relevant issues. The focus is on present conditions, practices and future trends.

About The Villas of Grand Cypress

The Villas of Grand Cypress is a AAA Four-Diamond Orlando luxury golf resort like no other. The Villas of Grand Cypress offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus’ signature design golf, luxurious villa-style accommodations, endless recreation, exquisite dining and much more all wrapped into a world-class 1,500 acre Orlando golf resort.

About Venu, Inc.

VENU, Inc. produces results driven meetings, events and tradeshows for various industries on a national level and international level.

For further information, see

Contact: Greg Carlile, Vice President
Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium