Strikes because of an authority´s decision constitute extraordinary circumstances
On 30 June 2022, the district court Schwechat ruled in three cases we are handling for a client that strikes constitute extraordinary circumstances if the reason for the strikes is an authority´s decision. The court argues that such strikes that are based on demands that can only be fulfilled by authorities (and not the airline itself) are beyond the airline´s control. In the cases at hand, not the airline´s employees, but the ground handling staff was striking and thereby disturbing the normal operations.
These rulings are in line with the ECJ´s ruling C-28/20, in which the ECJ mentioned: “If, however, such a strike originates from demands which only the public authorities can satisfy and which, accordingly, are beyond the actual control of the air carrier concerned, it is capable of constituting an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ […]”
Therefore, airlines are not obliged to pay compensation (Art 7 of Reg 261/2004) if flights are cancelled or significantly delayed due to such strikes, provided that all reasonable measures in connection therewith are taken.
Don´t hesitate to contact our Aviation Team to learn more about when strikes constitute extraordinary circumstances and passenger claims in Austria.