On 17th of February 2016 ECJ issued a judgment in case C-429/14 in proceedings concerning compensation for damage caused by the delay of flights of Air Baltic Corporation AS carrying two agents of the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania. The contract for the international carriage of passengers was concluded between Special Investigation Service and Air Baltic.
The question referred to ECJ for preliminary ruling was:
Are Articles 19, 22 and 29 of the Montreal Convention to be understood and interpreted as meaning that an air carrier is liable to third parties, inter alia to the passengers’ employer, a legal person with which a transaction for the international carriage of passengers was entered into, for damage occasioned by a flight’s delay, on account of which the applicant (the employer) incurred additional expenditure connected with the delay (for example, the payment of travel expenses)?
The answer of ECJ following the prevailing tendency for extending the scope of liability of the air carrier is as follows:
Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:
The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded at Montreal on 28 May 1999, in particular Articles 19, 22 and 29 thereof, must be interpreted as meaning that an air carrier which has concluded a contract of international carriage with an employer of persons carried as passengers, such as the employer at issue in the main proceedings, is liable to that employer for damage occasioned by a delay in flights on which its employees were passengers pursuant to that contract, on account of which the employer incurred additional expenditure.
After this judgment no doubt that in case of damages occasioned by delay of flights carried out pursuant to a contract of international carriage binding an employer and a carrier, has to being interpreted as applying not only to damage caused to passengers themselves but also to damage suffered by an employer.