Like the rest of the world, the Bahamian aviation sector continues to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar recently addressed the easing of restrictions on air travel to, from and within The Bahamas. A travel health visa, subject to certain exceptions (eg, children under 10 years of age and crew of commercial airlines), is still required by persons travelling into or within The Bahamas.
With airline companies rapidly depleting cash reserves and any form of subsidies to ensure survival in the current climate, the unsurprising reality is that efforts to go green have taken a step back. However, the pandemic has in a way allowed relevant industry players to pause and ponder on long-term strategies, including but not limited to the sustainability of both airline companies and, importantly, environmental protection.
In 2019 Gijón Commercial Court No 3 ruled in a case dealing with some of Volotea's transport terms and conditions. The Association of Financial Users, a consumer protection association that filed the initial claim, disagreed with some of the judgment's points and lodged an appeal. The Provincial Audience of Asturias recently gave its judgment in appeal; while it confirmed some of the first-instance court's decisions, it overruled others. This article focuses on the most controversial decisions.
In March 2020 the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) issued public statements suggesting that it could be reasonable for airlines to provide travel vouchers for flights cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than providing refunds. An advocacy group commenced an application for judicial review of the statements, asserting that they violated the CTA's Code of Conduct and misled passengers as to their rights. The Federal Court of Appeal recently dismissed the motion.
In 2018 the Security Interest Law was replaced by Legislative Decree 1400, which approved the security interest regime but is not yet in force. It is hoped that after Legislative Decree 1400 enters into force, it will become clear how parties can take the best advantage of the security interest on aviation-related assets (eg, aircraft, engines and rentals income), despite any delays that the new law may introduce.
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 shifted the focus of the UK insolvency regime from administration and liquidation to rescue and recovery and introduced numerous interesting features that apply to companies experiencing financial difficulties. This article considers how some of these features fit into the insolvency regime of the Cape Town Convention.
In June 2020 the Global Aircraft Trading System (GATS) was launched to facilitate aircraft trading and financing by reducing the burden on industry participants – in particular, airlines. Since the GATS relies on the use of trusts, a traditional common law concept, a question arises as to whether the GATS can be used in jurisdictions such as Brazil that are not based on common law.
The French Aircraft Registry, previously located in Paris, recently moved to Athis-Mons, approximately 20km south of Paris. Due to this relocation, the registry has been closed from 9 November 2020 until 13 November 2020 (however, the registry may be in a position to answer to emails as of 12 November 2020). Applicants to the registry that wish to register aircraft, and any related leases and mortgages, will have to use new registration forms which will refer to the registry's new location.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled on a request for a preliminary ruling from Barcelona Commercial Court 9. The case concerned the interpretation of Articles 17(2) and 22(1) of the Montreal Convention. In line with the Montreal Convention, the ECJ established the principle that the courts should fix the amount of compensation, depending on the damages effectively suffered by the passenger, subject to a limit of 1,131 special drawing rights.
Almost all airlines worldwide are having to deal with severe financial problems due to the consequences of fighting COVID-19 and the grounding of fleets for several months. Even Lufthansa considered filing for insolvency during negotiations with the German government about state aid. This article addresses German insolvency law in general and some special features regarding airline insolvencies.
With Decision 136/2020, the Transport Regulatory Authority has once again addressed the regulatory models for airport charges, introducing significant amendments that companies which manage Italian airports open to commercial traffic of passengers, cargo and mail must follow. The authority is the independent national entity responsible for the oversight, regulation and negotiation of airport charges between airport managing companies on the one hand and airport users (airlines and operators) on the other.
The primary Finnish airline company, Finnair, has announced that it will discontinue five of its domestic routes by Spring 2021. Finnair's decision was heavily influenced by the COVID-19 crisis and related travel restrictions, although the cancelled routes had already been challenging in terms of profitability before the pandemic. This article examines these changes to the domestic aviation market and other initiatives established due to the ongoing pandemic.
The domino effect of airlines' massive lay-offs of pilots is a decrease in pilot training applications in Malaysia. One of the many flight training organisations in Malaysia has seen a 30% fall in enrolment at its eastern Malaysia centre and a 15% decrease in its western Malaysia centre. The reason for this is because the investment does not necessarily guarantee its returns.
Under a bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be required to conduct temperature checks on all passengers and other individuals seeking entry to an airport's sterile area. Airlines have been lobbying for the TSA to conduct such temperature checks for several months. During a 120-day pilot programme, the TSA would screen all individuals for a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher before they would be allowed to enter an airport's sterile area.
The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) looks set to open its gates on 31 October 2020. Even if BER opens as currently scheduled, the public damage caused by its troubled history will remain. It remains to be seen how the numerous delays have harmed the original idea for the airport given the fact that its infrastructure has already become a bit outdated without ever having been used.
Insolvency has been a topical issue in the French aviation market in 2020 with two significant mid-sized airlines declaring bankruptcy at the start of the year and the number of airlines in financial difficulty set to rise due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this video, Matthieu de Varax and Thomas Boone discuss these issues as well as efforts to reduce the level of carbon emissions that the French aviation sector produces.
The closure of Peru's borders and the restrictions placed on international flights to and from the country due to COVID-19 have had a highly negative effect on tourism and its related industries. While the ongoing health emergency should not be underestimated, the time to reassess the aviation restrictions has arrived. The aviation industry should at least expect the government to provide clarity with regard to when international operations for passengers will be resumed.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and in a move to boost economic activity through medical tourism in Malaysia, the government has announced that it will partially reopen Malaysia's borders to medical tourists from designated green zone countries (eg, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand), allowing them to fly in via commercial or chartered flights.
The overall effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the Bahamian aviation sector is unknown and may be for some time; however, there is no doubt that the short-term effects have been severe. Tourism and aviation in The Bahamas go hand in hand, with one affecting the other. The pandemic may provide an opportunity for the country's aviation industry, as there is increasing interest from private aircraft owners and those willing to spend a little more in order to avoid the constraints of scheduled commercial travel.
The Supreme Court recently issued an important ruling on the liability and indemnity for damages caused during the supply of airport ground-handling services to airlines. The case originated from an accident suffered by a Boeing 767 aircraft operated by an Italian carrier at Verona Airport whose right wing hit the sliding gate of the hangar – where the aircraft was being recovered – during the towing phase conducted by one of the handling provider's trucks.