Case Study: Emirates Airlines – Flight No. EK20 – September 4th, 2019

Adnams V Emirates
Flight: Manchester to Dubai
Flight No: EK20
Date: 4th September 2019
Time: 21.15pm

Reasonable measures to minimise disruption to Passengers.

DLA Piper represented Emirates employing a barrister and argued:

  • Air Passenger Solicitors (APS)represented Mr and Mr Adnams
  • The previous flight (EK19) arrived early and was diverted to Heathrow following a report by the captain of “wind Sheer” being cross winds.
  • Whilst holding over Heathrow a fuel emergency was declared and immediate landing was requested.
  • It was not possible to fly back to Manchester despite having filed a flight plan due to continuing adverse weather.

Facts :  The Emirates incoming flight to Manchester was an Airbus A380 .  The Airbus was allowed to divert to Heathrow following a “go around”.  A “Go around” is an unsuccessful attempt to land where the aircrew pull up just prior to landing .   The flight successfully landed at Heathrow where it was refuelled and a flight plan to Manchester was filed.  However,  the flight was later cancelled in the evening.   This meant there was no aircraft to operate our flight and the flight was cancelled with alternatives offered the next morning.

APS successfully  argued that the weather at Manchester was only subject to strong winds/gusts for a short period and had the flight been on time.  We also argued that Emirate could have then flown back to Manchester later that evening in moderate winds but chose not to do so.  Emirates argued that the wind was not suitable for A380 Airbus but the evidence contradicted it since Airbus departed the next dat in the same moderate light winds.  APS were able to provide weather data for the date of the cancelled flight plus the next day.

Emirates that Mr Adnams could not claim on behalf of his wife. APS pointed out that Emirates Conidtion 17.4 allows this and as the claim had been legally assigned there was nothing objectionable. The judge allowed Mr Adnams to claim it was sensible to allow it in accordance with the overriding objective efficiency and the saving of costs.

APS won EU261/2004 compensation on behalf of their clients.  It was found that Emirates did not take reasonable measures to prevent a delay to their passengers and were liable to pay Eur 600 per passenger under EU regulation EU261/2004.

Emirates asked 36 days to pay but this was reduced to 21 days.

It should be noted that a claim may be defended on the Grounds of Adverse Weather but the Airline is still under a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent a delay to their passengers.

If you have suffered a delay in excess of three hours or a cancellation which you believe is within the Airlines control then you too may able to claim up to Eur 600 per passenger.

Horsham County Court  21st September 2020