The UAE’s emirates airlines, which has been named by Britain’s CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) as one of the airlines not compensating people for delayed or cancelled flights has retorted back saying the it would fight hard to avoid having European Union laws regarding flight delay compensation being applied to them.
The CAA has named Emirates along with American, Emirates, Etithad, Singapore and Turkish Airlines as being carriers which have refused for various reasons paying out passengers compensation.
EU law dictates that passengers can receive up to £510 in compensation, if the flight that they were travelling on is delayed for three hours or more or cancelled. The CAA stated, that according to data gleaned from passengers, Emirates Airlines, which is based out of Dubai has received the most amount of complaints from passengers regarding the airline not paying out compensation.
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“Under the (European Commission Regulation EC261/2004 ), passengers are legally entitled to compensation if they arrive at their final destination more than three hours late,” the CAA said, adding that the rights apply to any airliner leaving an airport in the European Union, regardless of its nationality.
“The CAA estimates that over 200,000 passengers each year travelling on these airlines could be at risk of missing their onward connection and thereby being delayed by over three hours at their final destination.”
Emirates vehemently denied the claims and hit back at the aviation watchdog for being “misleading and unprofessional” in the way it has communicated the issue. The Dubai-based carrier also vowed to “rigorously” defend its position against the blanket application of the European law.
A spokesperson for the airline clarified that that the application of the law to Emirates flights from the UK involving a stopover in Dubai is currently pending before the UK Court of Appeal. The airline pointed out that while they ensure their passengers are taken care of during flight disruptions, there are many incidents that are simply beyond its control.
“We will rigorously defend our position, and challenge the blanket application of EC 261 to every situation, without consideration of context or the safety of our passengers. Emirates, like any responsible airline, puts the safety of our passengers first and to be penalised for this is absurd,” the airline said in a statement sent to Gulf News.