Two new regulations were recently issued in Argentina regarding airport fees. The first regulation establishes fees that passengers must pay for regional and international flights and connections, while the second regulation sets a new security fee. Airlines, airport concessionaires and the relevant authorities are working on the implementation of the new regulations.
American Airlines recently filed an injunction action requesting the Federal Court to revoke a National Administration of Civil Aviation decision which imposed a fine for allegedly operating a non-approved scheduled flight. American Airlines claimed that the first-instance decision was based on arguments of the federal district attorney which, in its view, were erroneous.
A joint resolution was recently issued by the Argentine Tax Agency, the National Immigration Directorate, the National Administration of Civil Aviation and the Aeronautical Police. The resolution aims to control safety and risks in the commercial aviation sector, and introduce measures to prevent conflict, terrorism and threats to aviation and to combat drug and human trafficking.
A mandatory mediation procedure under a certified mediator is a condition precedent for bringing a complaint in court where a claimant alleges damages under – or non-compliance with – the terms and conditions of the Aeronautical Code, as well as cases triggered by the Warsaw Convention. The system has proved to be effective in reducing legal fees for airlines and offering new ways to avoid the courts.
The Central Bank recently issued a communication on the sale of international airline tickets and tickets for tourist services in Argentina or abroad to a non-Argentinian resident, which restricts the methods of payment for such tickets. If the relevant conditions are not met, any amount resulting from such sales will not be permitted for referral abroad. This raises concerns for international carriers operating in Argentina.
A complaint filed by two passengers against American Airlines and Aerovias de Mexico – seeking compensation for the late delivery of their luggage and for alleged missing items – has been rejected by the first-instance court. The court noted that no documentation had been provided by the plaintiffs to prove the loss of the alleged missing items, nor had they claimed in due time.
The Federal Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals recently confirmed a first instance court decision denying a passenger's request for compensation following the cancellation of his flight without sufficient prior warning. The court found that a legal solution was unreachable since the applicable laws did not include a solution for cancellation cases, only covering liability issues when a delay occurs.
The Court of Appeals recently increased the material damages awarded in a case concerning a complaint filed by two professional tango dancers against Lan Airlines seeking indemnity or compensation for a two-day delay in the delivery of their bags following cancellation of their flight due to bad weather. The court held that the evidence revealed a higher economic loss due to the cancelled performances.
Two recent decisions regarding a dispute over an alleged surcharge on an airline ticket fare have produced opposing conclusions on the jurisdiction applicable to such cases - one argued for state jurisdiction, and the other for federal jurisdiction. These rulings demonstrate that even 45 years after the creation of the Aeronautical Code, court jurisdiction regarding aeronautical matters has yet to be settled.
An airline was recently ordered to pay Ps12,000 (approximately $3,000) in compensation to a passenger for the loss of his baggage. In a rather unusual sentence, the judge did not apply the Montreal Additional Protocol 2 to the Warsaw Convention. The airline attempted to appeal the decision, but the appeal was rejected based on a procedural exception contained in the Civil and Commercial Procedural Code.
The recovery period for damages brought under Article 35 of the Montreal Convention 1999 is two years. However, in Argentina, the statute of limitation set forth in Article 35 may be interrupted, delayed or postponed through the Mediation Law. Under the law, a mediation hearing called by claimants to recover damages based on the convention may cause the time limitation to be suspended under certain conditions.
The Federal Court of Appeals on Contentious and Administrative Matters recently modified the penalty imposed by the National Directorate of Internal Commerce on VRG Linhas Aereas. The court stated that whenever specific aviation legislation governs a fact under review, it will prevail over general or domestic legislation.
On June 1 2011 Law 26.683 was passed before Congress. Under the law, airlines that act as customs agents have been withdrawn from the scope of Resolution 39/2011, as issued by the Unit for Financial Information (UFI) earlier this year. Thus, airlines are no longer subject to requests from the UFI regarding suspicious activities linked to money laundering or for the prevention of terrorism.
Resolution 79/2010 of the Regulatory Body for the National Airport System was recently published in the Official Gazette. The resolution instructs Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 SA to implement the assignment of parking positions on airport ramps. Pursuant to the resolution, the assignment of 29 parking positions for Class C aircraft has been changed in accordance with the new layout of the City of Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery Airport.
National Civil Aviation Authority Resolution 764 was recently published in the Official Gazette. The new resolution changes the procedure for requesting approval of scheduled, non-scheduled and special flights. Among other things, it states that petitions to obtain approval of such flights must be made before the Civil Aviation Authority.