A business party of 43 Scandanavians entered into an agreement with the airline NewAir A/S for outbound travel from Billund to Nantes on November 26 2000, returning on November 30. The return flight was to depart at noon, with arrival at 14:55. The agreed price for the round trip was Dkr193,700 less 10% commission.

After passengers had boarded the plane for the return flight from Nantes, the areoplane experienced technical problems and could not take off. The captain informed the passengers that the repairs would not be completed until the following day, by which time the Swedish party would miss their connecting flight from Billund to Stockholm.

The Swedish party would have had to stay overnight in Denmark in order to take the morning flight from Billund. As an alternative to awaiting the repairs, the captain suggested that the passengers await a standby flight that would leave Nantes on Monday December 1 and arrive in Billund at approximately 14:00. However, the passengers would still be unable to get to Sweden on the same day. The party refused the airline's offer to arrange the return flight and arranged an alternative flight through a Swedish travel agency.

The travel party subsequently instituted legal proceedings against the airline claiming payment of Dkr232,977 in compensation for costs incurred for the return flight, the overnight stay at a hotel and meals. The Western Division of the Danish High Court(1) found in favour of the plaintiffs on the basis that the airline had not satisfied the court that it had taken all necessary measures to avoid the loss incurred by the travellers due to the delay (eg, by trying to contract with another airline). The court cited Section 109 of the Danish Aviation Act.

For further information on this topic please contact Jesper Windahl at Bech-Bruun Dragsted by telephone (+45 7733 7733) or by fax (+45 7733 7744) or by e-mail ([email protected]).


(1) Western High Court Judgment of December 19 2000 (Danish Weekly Law Reports 2001 686/2).

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