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Supreme Court refuses Emirates appeal, CAA calls on airline to pay compensation immediately

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The UK Civil Aviation Authority has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to refuse Emirates’ permission to appeal, in relation to passenger compensation for missed connections outside the EU.

In its decision, the Supreme Court stated that Emirates’ appeal did not raise an arguable point of law, because the Court of Justice of the European Union had already given a clear answer.

The Court’s decision confirms the CAA’s interpretation of EC 261/2004. The CAA commenced enforcement action against five airlines on this point, including Emirates, in Spring 2017, for failing to compensate passengers that had suffered a long delay as a result of a missed connection outside the EU.

Four of the airlines moved into compliance following the CAA’s enforcement action, however Emirates sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, which has now been refused.

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The Civil Aviation Authority will now progress its enforcement action against Emirates to ensure that it complies with the law, requiring them to amend their policies and practices and to pay claims it had incorrectly refused previously.

Andrew Haines, chief executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:“Emirates priority should be looking after its passengers, not finding ways in which they can prevent passengers accessing their rights. They have failed in their attempts to overturn the Court of Appeal Judgement, which now means that millions of pounds worth of compensation is due to its customers. It is time for Emirates to pay what is owed.

“These types of court cases can be avoided when airlines commit to the Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme, to ensure a legally binding resolution to any disputed complaints about delays, cancellations and baggage.

“It is time for Emirates to pay what is owed.”
– Andrew Haines, UK Civil Aviation Authority

“35 airlines have already committed to ADR covering almost 80% of UK passenger journeys. This case highlights why it is so important for Emirates and the other remaining airlines, to follow suit in the interests of their passengers.”

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