Studio Pierallini updates

Italian case law upholds that hidden manufacturing defect is an extraordinary circumstance
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • November 22 2017

The most recent Italian case law has upheld the European Court of Justice's interpretation of EU Regulation 261/2004 in Wallentin-Hermann and Van der Lans by qualifying a hidden manufacturing defect as an 'extraordinary circumstance' under the meaning of Article 5(3) of the regulation and rejecting passenger claims for compensation under Article 7 of the regulation.

Alitalia recovery plan takes flight
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • July 19 2017

In a recent decree the Ministry for the Economic Development started the extraordinary administration procedure for Alitalia pursuant to Law 39/2004 and appointed commissioners to lead the company throughout the procedure. The main purpose of the extraordinary administration is to implement a recovery plan meant to preserve employment levels through the financial restructuring of the company, the sale of the business as a whole or the sale of the business, assets and contracts part by part.

No-show rule and round-trip tickets
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • January 25 2017

The Competition Authority has often fined airlines for imposing limits on round-trip tickets which force passengers to take flights in the order listed on the original ticket (ie, the so-called 'no-show rule'). The Council of State recently found this rule to be lawful. However, to protect consumer rights, the rule must strike a balance between the commercial needs of airlines and consumer rights. This decision confirms the increased focus on consumer rights without neglecting the commercial needs of airlines.

Assignment of passenger rights to compensation
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • November 02 2016

Italian courts are facing an increase in judicial claims by debt collection companies for denied boarding and the cancellation and delay of flights pursuant to EU Regulation 261/2004. The claims are based on the assignment of passenger rights to compensation under the regulation. The increase in judicial claims has led to jurisdictional and legal entitlement issues which have been resolved by different Italian court approaches.

ENAC implements regulation on non-scheduled air transport outside European Union
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • August 24 2016

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) recently issued a circular regarding non-scheduled air transport services operated outside the European Union to and from Italian airports. ENAC's rules apply to EU carriers and extra-community carriers on the condition that their states of origin grant equal treatment to EU carriers and are in line with the Italian Navigation Code.

Recent Supreme Court case law regarding liability of ground handlers
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • June 29 2016

The Supreme Court recently changed its approach to the interpretation of the commercial relationship between airlines and ground-handling companies, with the main focus being the damages suffered by passengers as a consequence of the supply of handling services. The key point in this regard is whether a ground-handling company can be considered to be an auxiliary entity of the airline.

ENAC road map for implementation of new EU airport rules
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • April 13 2016

In the past few years the EU legal framework regarding airports has been highly revised, obliging the aviation authorities of member states to revise national regulations accordingly. The Italian implementation process is supervised by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, which has developed a road map for ensuring the Italian airport system's compliance with the new EU rules by the December 31 2017 deadline.

European Commission issues formal notice for failure to implement airport charges directive
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • January 20 2016

The European Commission recently issued a formal notice to the government for failures in implementing the EU Airport Charges Directive. The commission contested the consultation procedure that aimed to regulate charges at five major Italian airports through contract agreements between airport management and the Italian Civil Aviation Authority. The government is working on its formal comments regarding the alleged non-compliance.

Aviation authority issues new regulation on remotely piloted aerial vehicles
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • August 12 2015

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) recently issued a new regulation on remotely piloted aerial vehicles, which supersedes the existing regulation in that regard. ENAC makes a distinction between remotely piloted aircraft systems, which are subject to the provisions of the Navigation Code, and model aircraft, which are exempt from the code's provisions.

Fundamental rule for tax on aircraft noise established
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • April 29 2015

A recent Constitutional Court judgment established a fundamental rule for the implementation of a regional tax on aircraft noise. The Lazio Region argued that tax on aircraft noise is a matter under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Italian regions. However, according to the court, the guidelines fixed at a national level play an important role in coordinating the implementation of the tax on aircraft noise region by region.

Competition Authority fines Ryanair €550,000 for unfair commercial practices
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • March 18 2015

The Competition Authority recently fined low-cost air carrier Ryanair €550,000 for unfair commercial practices, following an investigation opened in June 2014. The investigation arose from complaints by passengers and consumer associations over major difficulties and exorbitant costs when trying to contact Ryanair regarding the fulfilment of contracts.

Senate passes new Salva Malpensa legislation
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • December 17 2014

The Senate has passed into law the Sblocca Italia Decree, which contains the new Salva Malpensa legislation. The new legislation completely restates the article of the former Salva Malpensa Decree, intended to develop air transport to and from Italian airports in order to support the industry and promote the country's economic growth in general.

Civil Aviation Authority issues circular governing extra-EU flight operations
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • December 10 2014

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority has issued a revised circular on the operation of extra-EU scheduled services, which regulates the authorisation and designation procedure for carriers in accordance with international air transport agreements. This attempt to enhance the regulatory framework was influenced by the challenges experienced by the air transport industry in recent years.

Aviation authority issues Regulation on Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • July 09 2014

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) recently issued the Regulation on Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles, which represents one of the first pieces of legislation to provide a legal framework for the operation of drones. The use of this kind of aircraft has increased dramatically recently. ENAC's initiative thus fills the regulatory gap within which these professional and commercial operations have been taking place.

Preventing aircraft take-off under the Navigation Code
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • June 25 2014

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) has issued a circular to implement Article 802(2) of the Navigation Code, which provides that the ENAC can prevent the departure of aircraft when relevant taxes, charges and fees due by the operator are outstanding. Notice of any such non-payment is given to the ENAC by the relevant airport management company, the Italian Agency for Air Traffic Control or Eurocontrol.

Follow-up on Emirates' fifth freedom rights
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • May 14 2014

The Italian Air Carrier Association recently challenged the authorisation granted to Emirates in respect of slots and traffic rights to extend its daily flights from Dubai to Milan onwards to New York, alleging that it breached the Chicago Convention, Italian law and the bilateral agreement between Italy and the United Arab Emirates. The court accepted this challenge and nullified the authorisation, although Emirates' appeal is pending.

Ryanair and easyJet fined for unfair commercial practices
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • April 23 2014

The Italian Competition Authority recently issued two decisions against leading European low-cost airlines Ryanair and easyJet, fining them €850,000 and €200,000 respectively, for misleading commercial practices. The authority held that both airlines had failed to provide adequate information in respect of the optional purchase of travel insurance for prospective flight cancellations.

Fifth freedom rights of Gulf carriers face court challenge
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • January 29 2014

Two recent cases of 'fifth freedom' rights granted by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority to foreign carriers have characterised the mood of the Italian air transport sector of late. In both cases domestic competitors have challenged the relevant authorisations before the courts. The cases concern the rights of Emirates and Qatar Airways to perform long-haul routes to the United States while flying through Milan Malpensa Airport.

Competition Authority weighs in on regional aircraft noise tax
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • October 16 2013

Both the Italian carriers' association and the Italian airport association have raised concerns over the effects of the new regional tax on aircraft noise. The Italian Competition Authority recently responded to these concerns by issuing a communication to Parliament and the government under the Competition and Fair Trading Act regarding the competition distortions caused by the varied implementation of the tax.

New tax on aircraft noise raises concerns
Studio Pierallini
  • Aviation
  • Italy
  • July 17 2013

Law 342/2000 established a tax on aircraft noise, mainly with the aim of financing airport monitoring systems and anti-pollution measures, as well as indemnifying communities living near airports. However, the regional laws implementing the tax have been contested by both the Italian air carriers' association and the Italian airport association, which have underlined the negative impact of the tax on the air transport market.

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