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Emirates loses UK appeals against extra-EU delay liability

Middle Eastern carrier Emirates has lost appeals over compensation liability for delayed flights outside of the European Union after UK judges originally reached contradictory rulings in two similar cases.

The two cases, both brought in Liverpool, involved Emirates services from Manchester – one to Bangkok and the other to Sydney – operating via Dubai.

Outbound flights from Manchester were delayed in both instances, and the onward connections from Dubai were missed, leading to a substantially late arrival at the final destination.

In the Bangkok case the judge ruled that the connecting flights should be treated separately, and that Emirates was right to compensate only for the Manchester-Dubai sector under European Union passenger rights legislation.

But in the Sydney case the outbound Manchester-Dubai flight was not delayed sufficiently to qualify for compensation. The judge ruled, however, that the entire service should be considered, even though the Dubai-Sydney sector was external to the European Union, and held Emirates responsible.

Appeal court judges have stressed that the European Court of Justice has previously ruled that liability for compensation depends on delay in arriving at the final destination.

They have upheld an appeal against Emirates by the passenger in the Bangkok case, and dismissed Emirates' appeal against the passengers in the Sydney case.

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