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Parliamentary questions
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19 January 2016
E-000344-16
Question for written answer E-000344-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Tibor Szanyi (S&D)

 Subject:  Consumer rights when flying with a non-EU airline
 Answer in writing 

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 is a very important tool for air travellers as it gives specific guidance regarding their rights vis-à-vis airlines.

It establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations or long flight delays. However, not all EU passengers enjoy such protection.

The regulation ensures the right of air travellers to compensation regardless of the nationality of the airline, but only as long as the flight departs from EU territory. Passengers departing on non-EU carriers from airports located in third countries to airports situated in the territories of Member States are not protected by the regulation.

Besides the negative implications this has for the passengers concerned, in its current form the regulation also gives non-EU airlines an advantages over EU-airlines, as the former are not obliged to compensate passengers in the event of flight disruptions as described above.

Is the Commission contemplating the possibility of enhancing Regulation 261/2004 by broadening its scope to include the rights of passengers flying on non-EU airlines from third countries to EU destinations, thereby also creating a level playing field for all airlines competing in EU airspace?

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