Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Tribunal Judicial da Comarca dos Açores (Portugal) lodged on 18 October 2019 — QE, RD v SATA Internacional — Serviços de Transportes Aéreos SA

(Case C-766/19)

Language of the case: Portuguese

Referring court

Tribunal Judicial da Comarca dos Açores

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: QE, RD

Defendant: SATA Internacional — Serviços de Transportes Aéreos SA

Other party: Ana — Aeroportos de Portugal SA

Questions referred

Must an event such as the one that occurred on 10 May 2017 at the Lisbon airport, when there was an extensive and significant interruption to the fuel supply making it impossible to refuel aircraft due to a malfunction in the pumping system that impeded the transfer of fuel to the plate system, which system is the responsibility of the airport infrastructure managing entities, and which malfunction impacted the continuous functioning and operability of that airport, resulting in delays and cancellations of 473 flights, of which 12 were diverted, 98 cancelled and 363 delayed, affecting more than 41 000 passengers, be classified as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 1 exempting air carriers from the obligation to pay compensation?

Did an airline use all means and alternatives at its disposal in order to limit the delay to a flight when, as a result of not being able to refuel at Lisbon airport for the aforementioned reason, it decided to refuel at an alternative close-by airport (Porto), and when, as a result of the delay caused by the late departure from Lisbon airport and the refuelling at another airport, which meant that the crew members of that aircraft no longer had any flight duty time available which, under the applicable legal provisions, would have enabled them to complete the flight that had been delayed, it resorted to entering into an operational leasing agreement (ACMI) with another airline in order to complete that flight?


1 Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 (OJ 2004 L 46, p. 1).