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Document 62013CJ0452

Germanwings

Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber), 4 September 2014.
Germanwings GmbH v Ronny Henning.
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Landesgericht Salzburg.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Air transport — Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 — Articles 2, 5 and 7 — Right to compensation in the event of a long delay to a flight — Length of delay — Concept of ‘arrival time’.
Case C‑452/13.

Case C‑452/13

Germanwings GmbH

v

Ronny Henning

(Request for a preliminary ruling from the Landesgericht Salzburg)

‛Reference for a preliminary ruling — Air transport — Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 — Articles 2, 5 and 7 — Right to compensation in the event of a long delay to a flight — Length of delay — Concept of ‘arrival time’’

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber), 4 September 2014

  1. EU law — Interpretation — Provision which makes no express reference to the law of the Member States — Independent and uniform interpretation

  2. Transport — Air transport — Regulation No 261/2004 — Common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights — Right to compensation in the event of cancellation of a flight — Applicability in the event of a long delay

    (European Parliament and Council Regulation No 261/2004, Arts 5(1)(c)(iii) and 7)

  3. Transport — Air transport — Regulation No 261/2004 — Common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights — Right to compensation in the event of a delay — Concept of ‘arrival time’ — Scope

    (European Parliament and Council Regulation No 261/2004, Arts 2, 5 and 7)

  1.  See the text of the decision.

    (see para. 16)

  2.  See the text of the decision.

    (see para. 19)

  3.  Articles 2, 5 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to which passengers on a flight have been subject, refers to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.

    In principle, the situation of passengers on a flight does not change substantially when their aircraft touches down on the runway at the destination airport, when that aircraft reaches its parking position and the parking brakes are engaged or when the chocks are applied, as the passengers continue to be subject, in the enclosed space in which they are sitting, to various constraints. It is only when the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft and the order is given to that effect to open the doors of the aircraft that the passengers may in principle resume their normal activities without being subject to those constraints.

    (see paras 23-25, 27, operative part)

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