Request for a preliminary ruling from the Attunda Tingsrätt (Sweden) lodged on 21 January 2020 — Airhelp Ltd v Scandinavian Airlines System SAS

(Case C-28/20)

Language of the case: Swedish

Referring court

Attunda Tingsrätt

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Airhelp Limited

Defendant: Scandinavian Airlines System SAS

Questions referred

Does a strike by airline pilots who are employed by an air carrier and who are needed to carry out a flight constitute an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004, 1 when the strike is not implemented in connection with a measure decided upon or announced by the air carrier but of which notice is given and which is lawfully initiated by workers’ organisations as industrial action intended to induce the air carrier to increase wages, provide benefits or amend employment conditions in order to meet the organisations’ demands?

What significance, if any, is to be attached to the fairness of the workers’ organisations’ demands and, in particular, to the fact that the wage increase demanded is significantly higher than the wage increases which generally apply to the national labour markets in question?

What significance, if any, is to be attached to the fact that the air carrier, in order to avoid a strike, accepts a proposal for settlement from a national body responsible for mediating labour disputes but the workers’ organisations do not?


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).