Jet2 and Thomson compensation appeals turned down by Supreme Court

Jet2 and Thomson compensation appeals turned down by Supreme CourtImage via Shutterstock

The legal firm pursuing flight delay compensation says it will push ahead with thousands of outstanding claims after Jet2 and Thomson Airways were denied permission to appeal High Court rulings.

The original landmark judgements in the Huzar V Jet2 and Dawson V Thomson cases were said to open up the aviation industry to potentially billions of pounds of claims.

The Supreme Court has turned down the appeals application for both, meaning that claims pending the decision can now go ahead.

David Bott, senior partner at Bott & Co, said: “This is a landmark day not just for Mr Huzar and Mr Dawson but for passengers everywhere.

“Two journeys which started with a delay have now finished, nearly eight years later in Mr Dawson’s case. Bott & Co has thousands of clients whose claims have been on hold pending today’s decisions.

“We will now be writing to the airlines, asking them to acknowledge the judgments, recognise their obligations and deal with these claims as promptly as possible.

“The Supreme Court’s decision has provided total clarity in the law, which will benefit both airlines and passengers going forward.

“We here at Bott & Co are proud of our part in this victory that will benefit millions of consumers each year and brings this country’s law in line with other European countries.”

The Huzar ruling means airlines must pay flight compensation for delays caused by technical problems as these are not considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ under flight compensation regulation EU261.

The Dawson judgment confirmed consumers in England and Wales have six years to bring a claim for flight delay compensation.

Bott & Co estimates 2.36 million passengers per year in England and Wales will benefit from the Huzar decision, equivalent to approximately £876 million in compensation claims.

And it claims the Dawson case has opened up an estimated £3.89 billion in historic flight compensation.

In a statement Thomson said: “We believe that it is reasonable to expect that those who perceive they have suffered a real loss as a result of an unfortunate delay should be able to make their claim within two years.

“We are surprised and disappointed to note the decision of the Supreme Court as we believe our position is sound in law. We will now review this position based on the court’s decision.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Flybe pilot arrested on suspicion of being over drink-drive limit

Flybe pilot arrested on suspicion of being over drink-drive limitA Flybe pilot is reported to have been removed from his aircraft and arrested on suspicion of being over the drink-drive limit just before he was due to fly.

The pilot was due to fly from Newquay to Gatwick on Wednesday morning before he was removed for a breath test.

A police source told the BBC that officers were alerted after a fellow crew member became concerned.

A police spokesman confirmed a 48-year-old man was arrested.

The flight was then cancelled and passengers faced delays of almost five hours.

One passenger, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We all got on the plane and then there was an announcement. We were told the pilot was unwell.”

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “A 48-year-old man from Crediton, Devon, was arrested on suspicion of being over the drink-drive limit.

“He was taken to Newquay Police Station and remains in custody.”

The airline said: “Flybe can confirm that one of its pilots volunteered to help the police with their inquiries at Newquay airport.

“Flybe is not able to comment further while the police investigation is taking place.”

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said: “For pilots the blood/alcohol limit is 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. For context, the UK drink drive limit is 80 miligrammes per 100 mililitres.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Travel firms’ shares hammered amid Ebola crisis

Travel firms' shares hammered amid Ebola crisisImage via Shutterstock

Travel and tourism shares took a hammering yesterday after a Spanish nurse became the first European to test positive for the Ebola virus.

Airlines, tour operators and hotels were marked sharply lower on the London Stock Exchange in reaction to the news that the deadly virus which has killed 3,400 in west Africa had reached Europe.

British Airways, Iberia and Vueling parent International Airlines Group was hit hardest, with shares plunging by 25¾p to 345½p.

EasyJet lost 78p to £13.89 following a period of improved stock market performance.

Carnival Corporation, the world’s biggest cruise ship operator, fell 167p to £23.28 and InterContinental Hotels slid 85p to £22.44.

Shares in Royal Caribbean and Norwegian also slumped on the New York Stock Exchange.

Thomson and First Choice owner Tui Travel was marked 15¼p lower to 382p and Thomas Cook dropped 6½p to 112½p.

Investors took fright despite reassurance from JP Morgan analysts that Ebola, which is spread through contact with infected body fluids, was not a “material risk” unless it became airborne, theTelegraph reported.

The SARS outbreak in 2003 shook airline shares, but investors should not expect Ebola to have the same impact, according to the broker’s experts.

“Any comparisons with SARS are misplaced, in our view, given that SARS was an airborne illness relatively easy to contract, and balance sheets were considerably weaker at that time from the aftermath of 9/11,” the analysts said.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Ryanair aircraft ‘clip wings’ at Dublin airport

Ryanair aircraft 'clip wings' at Dublin airportEmergency services were on the runway at Dublin airport after two Ryanair aircraft came into contact with each other earlier this morning.

Airport authorities are reporting there is no disruption to flights.

One photograph from the scene shows the tip of the wing of one of the aircraft clipped off after the incident.

Fire tenders were at the scene as a matter of precaution.

A Dublin Airport Authority spokesman told independent.ie that nobody was injured during the incident which occurred just before 7am on a taxiway intersection.

The Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit is expected to launch a full investigation into the incident in keeping with procedures.

The flight schedule at the airport was operating normally less than half an hour later with some minor delays reported.

Ryanair has yet to comment on the incident.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Student admits making hoax easyJet bomb call

A student admitted making a hoax phone call claiming there was a bomb on a flight from Gatwick, a court heard.

Muhammet Demir called police and said he had seen a bomb on an easyJet aircraft that was due to fly to Turkey on September 9.

The flight, destined for Izmir, was taxiing on the runway with 170 passengers on board when it was recalled and met by armed police.

Police officers, Gatwick and airline staff, traced the call to 20-year-old Demir who had been due to board the flight.

The call was established as a hoax but it delayed the flight by three hours.

Demir, of no fixed abode, was arrested as he tried to board a flight at Luton airport.

The Turkish national admitted the crime but has refused to say why he made the call.

Demir pleaded guilty to communicating a false message to cause a bomb hoax at Brighton magistrates court on Saturday.

He was remanded in custody and is due to appear before a crown court for sentencing on a date to be set, the Brighton Argus reported.

Detective Inspector Andy Richardson said: “Fortunately we were able to quickly identify that this was a hoax call but it still caused considerable worry for airport and airline staff and passengers.

“Anyone considering making malicious calls of this nature should think long and hard about the consequences.

“We investigate fully all claims and threats like this and will not rest until we find those responsible.

“Making hoax calls not only wastes the time and money of members of the public and the emergency services but also delays us from responding to genuine emergencies.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Ukraine missile evidence ‘not shared with airlines’

Ukraine missile evidence 'not shared with airlines'Carriers would have avoided flying over Ukraine long before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, if information about missiles in the area had been passed on, the boss of Emirates has suggested.

Sir Tim Clark told the BBC there had been evidence of weapons for weeks. But he claimed those in the know didn’t share it with most of the carriers flying across the country.

If the airlines had all been told, he suggests, the industry would probably have by-passed the danger zone. And he added that some carriers did appear to know because they were avoiding the area, but they didn’t share the information.

It is widely believed that a missile downed flight MH17 on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Aircraft had been cleared to fly in the area as long as they stayed above a certain height, and a report last week highlighted the fact that three other large passenger jets were in the same area at roughly the same time as the Malaysian flight.

Sir Tim said: “There was evidence that these missiles had been on site, in situ for a number of weeks beforehand.

“Emirates did not know of that fact, and I don’t think many others did. Had we known that, we would probably have reacted in a manner that would have seen a complete avoidance of Ukrainian airspace, probably as an industry.

“We have a concern that information was known by certain stakeholders… and should have been passed… at least to the industry, to the organisations that regulate the industry.

“We understand now that certain carriers were aware of that and had already taken avoidance action.”

British Airways was among several airlines that had been avoiding Ukraine for weeks. But in a recent BBC interview, Willie Walsh, chief executive of parent company International Airlines Group, said that decision was based on information that was publicly available at the time.

Sir Tim is called for an information “clearing house” to be set up, that can warn all airlines if there are any new threats in an area.

Sir Tim also said a “Yes” vote for Scottish independence would heighten the need for a new runway in the south of England. Although he made clear that he didn’t want to get involved in the politics of the decision, he told the BBC:

“Clearly, if they do become independent they will develop their own civil aviation strategies, they will probably develop Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. But therefore there is more impetus required for the remaining parts of the UK to develop their aviation strategy, to fill a gap.”

Like so many others in the business world, the Emirates’ president says that doing nothing is not an option, be it expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick, or even at London mayor Boris Johnson’s preferred location in the Thames Estuary.

After four decades in the business Sir Tim says he’s seen airport expansion plans come and go, but there really does seem to be an urgency to do something this time,

Sir Tim made the point that the UK also needs to grow all of its regional airports, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Cardiff, which he described as having great potential.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Investigators publish report into Virgin jumbo turbulence incident

Investigators publish report into Virgin jumbo turbulence incidentNine passengers and a cabin crew member were injured when a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 hit “severe turbulence”, according to an official accident report.

The Gatwick-bound aircraft with 400 passengers ran into turbulence after the pilots’ study of weather radar returns had led them to alter course to avoid bad weather on their intended route.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report published today said: “The aircraft started to encounter turbulence and the flight crew switched the cabin seat belt signs on.

“The commander recalled seeing a flash outside, which he thought may have been lightning associated with a thunderstorm cell beneath the aircraft. Suddenly, the turbulence increased markedly and became severe for a while.”

The injured crew member and two of the injured passengers had to be treated in hospital after the aircraft landed safely at Gatwick.

One of the passengers suffered a knee injury and the cabin crew member, who was in the crew rest area at the time, had head and neck injuries.

Most passengers were already seated with their seatbelts fastened and all those who suffered injury were in the rear, right side of the aircraft.

At one point the turbulence was so severe that a member of the cabin crew had difficulty securing herself in her harness.

The incident happened in the early hours of November 14 last year when the aircraft, flying from Montego Bay in Jamaica, was around 300 miles south of St John’s in Newfoundland.

“The flight crew had left the intended track to avoid significant weather which they had detected on weather radar. However, at the time of the incident, there was no significant weather indicated on radar,” the AAIB report said.

*In another incident reported by the AAIB, a cabin crew member was thrown off her feet and was seriously injured when a Flybe Dash 8 suddenly hit severe turbulence on a flight from Birmingham to Belfast City airport.

The crew member was given medical assistance by a doctor who happened to be on board and was transferred to hospital after the aircraft landed in Belfast.

One of the 71 passengers on board suffered a minor injury in the incident over the Isle of Man on the morning of February 7 this year.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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