Language of document :

Appeal brought on 26 February 2016 by British Airways plc against the judgment of the General Court (First Chamber) delivered on 16 December 2015 in Case T-48/11: British Airways plc v European Commission

(Case C-122/16 P)

Language of the case: English


Appellant: British Airways plc (represented by: J. Turner QC, R. O'Donoghue, Barristers, A. Lyle-Smythe, Solicitor)

Other party to the proceedings: European Commission

Form of order sought

The appellant claims that the Court should:

set aside the General Court’s judgment in so far as it limits the scope of the annulment of the contested European Commission Decision to the form of order sought by British Airways in its original application for annulment;

set aside paragraph 1 of the operative part of the General Court’s judgment;

annul the contested European Commission Decision in full; and

award British Airways the costs of the appeal.

Pleas in law and main arguments

By the present application British Airways plc is seeking to have partially set aside the decision of the General Court rendered on 16 December 2015 in Case T-48/11, British Airways plc v European Commission. The Judgment partly annulled the Commission Decision C(2010) 7694 final of 9 November 2010 in Case COMP/39258 — Airfreight, in so far as it concerns British Airways.

In support of the action, the applicant relies on two pleas in law.

First plea in law, that the General Court erred in law by applying the concept of ultra petita to constrain its actions even when the General Court had of its own motion found there to be fundamental public policy defects which vitiated the European Commission’s Decision entirely. By raising a public policy issue of its own motion, and by deciding the case before it on that basis, the General Court did not rule ultra petita; the General Court therefore erred in law in considering itself restricted by ultra petita when it came to deciding on the consequences of its ruling in the operative part of its judgment.

Second plea in law, that alternatively, even if the principle of ultra petita was engaged, the General Court should have held that it was nonetheless free – indeed obliged – to annul the contested Decision entirely in order to give effect to its conclusions that there was a defect in the contested Decision which violated superior norms of law, namely the principles of legality and of effective judicial protection under Article 47 of the Charter on Fundamental Rights.