Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Landesgericht Salzburg (Austria) lodged on 18 November 2020 – CS v Eurowings GmbH

(Case C-613/20)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Landesgericht Salzburg

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: CS

Defendant: Eurowings GmbH

Questions referred

Does a strike by an air carrier’s staff called by a trade union to pursue pay demands and/or social benefits constitute ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004? 1

Would it at the very least:

where staff of the subsidiary company come out in sympathy with a strike called against the parent company (Lufthansa AG) in order to support parent company cabin crew demands being pursued by the trade union, and

in particular where the strike in the subsidiary company becomes an ‘independent’ strike, after agreement has been reached with the parent company, because the trade union reiterates the call for and even extends the strike for no apparent reason and the cabin crew of the subsidiary company responds to that call?

Does it suffice for the purpose of proving extraordinary circumstances that the operating air carrier claims that the call for the strike was continued for no reason, as the parent company had met the demands of the trade union, and was ultimately prolonged by the trade union, and who bears the burden of proof where the precise reasons in fact for that have remained unclear?

Can a strike in the defendant’s subsidiary company which was announced on 18 October 2019 for 05.00 to 11.00 on 20 October 2019 and which ultimately was spontaneously prolonged at 05.30 on 20 October 2019 to midnight be regarded as circumstances which are now beyond actual control?

Are precautions in the form of an alternative flight plan and the use of subcharters for flights cancelled due to a lack of available cabin crew measures appropriate to the situation, taking account in particular of ‘water destinations’ not easily reached by land and the difference between German domestic flights and internal European flights and, in addition, the fact that only 158 out of a total of 712 flights scheduled for that day had to be cancelled?

What requirements should be attached on the operating air carrier’s burden of assertion that all technically and economically viable measures were taken?


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).