The limit to bring claims under Article 7 of (EC) Regulation 261/2004

Actions to claim in Spain for compensation under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2005 have a five-year time-bar unless regional law applies.

As a result of a recent inquiry, AIYON ABOGADOS would like to remind its clients and friends that contractual claims for compensation against the air carrier under article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004, resulting from cancellation, denied boarding or long delay of flights, fall outside de scope of the Montreal Convention. According to a judgment of the European Union Court of Justice dated 22 November 2012 in the case C-139/11, the time-limits for bringing actions for such compensation are determined in accordance with the rules of each Member State on the limitation of actions. This decision was the result of a request for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona (Spain) dated 14 February 2011 in the proceedings “Joan Cuadrench Moré v Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV”.

Based on this decision by the EU Court of Justice, the Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, in its judgment dated 22 January 2013, ruled that the time-limit to bring a contractual claim for compensation under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/20004 is 10 years in application of Catalonian regional law. In the rest of Spain, this time-limit would be of 5 years in accordance with the recently amended Article 1964 of the Spanish Civil Code.

The application of domestic law to this issue was corroborated by another judgment of the same Tribunal dated 6 May 2013.