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European Court of Justice, Bossen case: The fact that the distance covered by a connecting flight is, as a result of the connection, greater than the distance between the departure and arrival airports has no impact on the calculation of compensation

Birgit Bossen and other passengers travelled from Rome to Hamburg via Brussels on a flight operated by Brussels Airlines. As their flight arrived in Hamburg with a delay of 3 hours and 50 minutes, they brought an action against Brussels Airlines, claiming compensation on the basis of the EU regulation on compensation for airline passengers.

ECJ notes, first, that with regard to the right to compensation, the regulation makes no distinction as to whether the passengers concerned reach their final destination by means of a direct flight or an air journey with connecting flights. In that context, the Court considers that the nature of the flight (direct flight or connecting flight) has no impact on the extent of the inconvenience suffered by the passengers for a cancellation or long delay. Consequently, when determining the amount of compensation in the case of a connecting flight, only the radial distance (calculated on the basis of great circle route method) that a direct flight would cover between the departure airport and the arrival airport should be taken into consideration.

The above said has been decided in Case C-559/16 on 7 September 2017.


Maurizio Corain

Si occupa in modo particolare di diritto della navigazione e dei trasporti e ha maturato una consolidata esperienza in tale ambito, offrendo consulenza nella redazione di contratti e nell’assistenza in controversie nei settori aereo, marittimo e terrestre.

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