Winter airport operations causing delays in the UK

Internal EU delay statistics are showing big discrepancy in airports dispatch reliability in the UK when compared to those in continental Europe during winter. Major UK airports are seriously underinvested in snow removing equipment. Shortage of ploughs and other snow removing equipment often shuts airport operation for all traffic leaving many flights delayed, cancelled or diverted. Continental Europe and Scandinavia are performing better under severe winter weather despite worst climate conditions.

Written on by Jan Kotan

Winter airport operations causing delays in the UK

Limitation period for bringing a claim for compensation against an airline

Many delayed and other way disrupted air passengers have seen the following sentence when they asked Thomas Cook or Thomson Airways for compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 : "The Supreme Court in the UK has said that all claims to do with "international carriage by air" need to be brought within two years. We, therefore, can't consider claims for flights that were delayed more than two years ago."

The only two reasonable explanations to the above quote are that air carrier legal teams are ignorant to the current law or that their policy is to intentionally mislead passengers and deter them from claiming rightful monetary compensations. For some unexplained reason, the airlines argue that the time limit is only 2 years. This short time limit was agreed in the Warsaw convention in 1929. So in the time when the European Union nor any of its laws and regulations existed. One would consider this rather archaic law for use the 21st century. And not surprisingly, European judges too.

The European Court of Justice confirmed in Cuadrench Moré v KLM in November 2012 that time limits for bringing compensation claims under EC Regulation 261/2004 for disrupted flights are governed by local laws in individual EU member states. So in the UK, the Limitation Act gives claimants 6 years to bring claims against airlines.

To sum up, do not get deterred from claiming up to €600 in compensation by misleading information you receive from airlines.

Written on by Jakub Kotan

Limitation period for bringing a claim for compensation against an airline

Charter airlines business model causes massive delays

The typical EU charter airline faces a shortage of capacity in the summer season. Over utilisation of fleets from May until mid October often leads to delays or even cancellations.  Usage of up to 18 flight hours per plane per day is common across charter fleets. If anything goes wrong, charter operators have limited backup options, and often none. Because of this, the lack of spare aeroplanes is a common reason for long delays. In this situation, it is the passenger that suffers, forced to wait in a terminal until a faulty aircraft is repaired.

It´s all about money. The average fixed cost of a mid-haul jet like the Boeing 737-800 (capacity 189 passengers) is US$200,000-350,000 per month. Charter operators commonly try to make as much revenue in summer as possible by operating all available aircraft to the limit and beyond. 

The root cause of many delayed charter flights is this aggressive management style and business model. They keep the fleet of aircraft small, to maximise profits in summer, and slash costs in the winter.

Major airlines, tend not to suffer the same issues. They operate across a network of interconnecting flights and are not wholly reliant on the summer season traffic. Their fleets are larger and they will generally have aircraft on standby to replace step in if anything goes wrong.

Written on by Jan Kotan

Charter airlines business model causes massive delays

Active aircrafts

According to latest statistic by IATA, passengers were entertained by airlines on 20,200 planes worldwide and travelling businessmen enjoyed 17,800 private airplanes in 2012. Commercial airplane manufacturers are expecting mild 1 - 1,8% growth while most of the 2013 production will used to replace older aircrafts.  

Written on by Jan Kotan

Active aircrafts

We have started a blog

Welcome to our blog in which we will be discussing important issues affecting air passengers.

Written on by Jakub Kotan

We have started a blog