The judgement concerns the interpretation of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.
Section 2 of Chapter II of Regulation No 1215/2012, entitled “Special jurisdiction”, contains Article 7(1) thereof, which provides:
“A person domiciled in a Member State may be sued in another Member State:
- in matters relating to a contract, in the courts for the place of performance of the obligation in question;
- for the purpose of this provision and unless otherwise agreed, the place of performance of the obligation in question shall be:
— in the case of the sale of goods, the place in a Member State where, under the contract, the goods were delivered or should have been delivered,
— in the case of the provision of services, the place in a Member State where, under the contract, the services were provided or should have been provided;
- if point (b) does not apply then point (a) applies.”
The disputes filed by flightright GmbH vs Iberia LAE SA Operadora Unipersonal concern a journey with three connecting flights under a confirmed single booking for two passengers: the first leg (from Hamburg to London) operated by British Airways, the subsequent two legs (from London to Madrid and from Madrid to San Sebastián) operated by Iberia.
The third leg of the journey only was cancelled and the main proceedings concern the request for compensation under Article 5(1)(c) and Article 7(1)(a) of Regulation No 261/2004.
The requesting court questions whether such court has jurisdiction over the dispute in respect of the leg of the journey that was cancelled, despite the fact that the place of departure and the place of arrival of that leg of the journey (i.e. Madrid and San Sebastián) are outside its territorial jurisdiction.
The ECJ ruled that: “The second indent of Article 7(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that the ‘place of performance’, within the meaning of that provision, in respect of a flight consisting of a confirmed single booking for the entire journey and divided into several legs, can be the place of departure of the first leg of the journey where transport on those legs of the journey is performed by two separate air carriers and the claim for compensation brought on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, arises from the cancellation of the final leg of the journey and is brought against the air carrier in charge of that last leg.”
The above said has been decided in Case C-606/19 on 13 February 2020.