1. April 2016

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided that under certain circumstances passengers are entitled to a compensation under Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 in case of a delayed flight even though Article 6 of the Regulation does not explicitly provide for such compensation (decision of 19 November 2009, C-402/07 and C-432/07, Sturgeon). The EU Regulation is applicable also in Switzerland based on a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the European Union. However, there are several open questions with respect to the scope of applicability of the Regulation and the decisions rendered by the ECJ. In a recent decision, the District Court of Bülach, a court of first instance, held that the ECJ decisions regarding compensation for delay are not binding for the Swiss Courts because they were not notified to Switzerland and the Appendix to the bilateral agreement was not amended. Based on its own interpretation of Article 6, the court came to the conclusion that the Regulation does not entitle to a compensation in case of delay. This decision is final (District Court of Bülach, decision of 2 February 2016).