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Stobart Air-2

Old 12th Sep 2018, 12:38
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Here's a facual post. Not conjecture or thoughts gleaned from other websites.

I have done a successful EU261/2004 claim. I claimed on the Flybe website. They paid me.

The flight in question was operated by Stobart. Flybe send the claim to Stobart who verify it and inform Flybe of the outcome.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 15:48
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Interesting. My Flybe operated by Stobart cancelled flight claim was rejected by Flybe and told nothing to do with Flybe contact Stobart.
So far zero reply from Stobart.
I have asked the CAA to clarify who is responsible - to which there has also been no reply.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 17:40
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I see that BE have re-introduced their timetable to the website today and all franchise flights with Stobart are no longer available from end of March. Is this just a coincidence that their 5 year agreement also ends at this point or will we see an updated timetable added in the coming weeks!?
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 18:11
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Originally Posted by Mr A Tis
Interesting. My Flybe operated by Stobart cancelled flight claim was rejected by Flybe and told nothing to do with Flybe contact Stobart.
So far zero reply from Stobart.
I have asked the CAA to clarify who is responsible - to which there has also been no reply.
Stobart Air are responsible as these will have been the operating airline.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 19:29
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Originally Posted by Cazza_fly
Stobart Air are responsible as these will have been the operating airline.
In this case - yes. But "operating" depends on who is calling the shots if and how a flight is operated. The ECJ recently ruled German airline TUIfly had to pay compensation for a flight it had outsourced to Thomsonfly, .i.e. a flight operated with Thomsonfly metal. So in a wet-lease scenario the operating carrier is different from the operating carrier in a franchise scenario.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 20:41
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Flybe (as an operator), have no responsibility for operational or commercial performance for the Flybe branded, Stobart Air operated services at SEN. The responsibility for EU261 lies with the operator of the flight, not the company under which the flight is branded.

When you purchase a flight operated as a codeshare, you may have booked through one airline but be travelling with another. It can't be the responsibility of the airline that you purchased the flight from to pay compensation if they have no influence or part to play in delivery of the service by the partner airline. That said, you'd hope that there would be strong internal comms between the two companies that would result in the customer not having to do the leg work. This would surely be a better solution.

Last edited by JobsaGoodun; 12th Sep 2018 at 20:43. Reason: Typo correction
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 21:14
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Originally Posted by JobsaGoodun
Flybe (as an operator), have no responsibility for operational or commercial performance for the Flybe branded, Stobart Air operated services at SEN. The responsibility for EU261 lies with the operator of the flight, not the company under which the flight is branded.

When you purchase a flight operated as a codeshare, you may have booked through one airline but be travelling with another. It can't be the responsibility of the airline that you purchased the flight from to pay compensation if they have no influence or part to play in delivery of the service by the partner airline. That said, you'd hope that there would be strong internal comms between the two companies that would result in the customer not having to do the leg work. This would surely be a better solution.
ln which case you have to question how damaging this franchise has been to the Flybe brand and whether the relationship has any future!
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 21:25
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Originally Posted by stewyb


ln which case you have to question how damaging this franchise has been to the Flybe brand and whether the relationship has any future!
Assuming that the franchise agreement is coming to an end next March, what options are there for Stobart Air to continue flights to Rennes, Caen, Groningen, etc with ATR72s. Or is there not a problem?
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 06:47
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Originally Posted by tophat27dt
Assuming that the franchise agreement is coming to an end next March, what options are there for Stobart Air to continue flights to Rennes, Caen, Groningen, etc with ATR72s. Or is there not a problem?
The 5 year franchise agreement actually runs until 31 May 2019 but I haven't been able to glean any information as to whether or not it will be renewed or whether there are other options in the frame. I did speak with the MD of one of the airports on the ATR network yesterday and for what it's worth they are confident that their SEN service will operate next summer.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 10:01
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I'd be amazed if Stobart aren't close to finalising their plans for 2019. It seems almost inconceivable that they will cease to operate from SEN at the end of the winter.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 10:36
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Originally Posted by DC3 Dave
I'd be amazed if Stobart aren't close to finalising their plans for 2019. It seems almost inconceivable that they will cease to operate from SEN at the end of the winter.
BE/Stobart will not renew franchise and Stobart Air will run their own operation for the ATR routes + Dublin E95 is my guess
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 11:17
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Originally Posted by JobsaGoodun
Flybe (as an operator), have no responsibility for operational or commercial performance for the Flybe branded, Stobart Air operated services at SEN. The responsibility for EU261 lies with the operator of the flight, not the company under which the flight is branded. When you purchase a flight operated as a codeshare, you may have booked through one airline but be travelling with another. It can't be the responsibility of the airline that you purchased the flight from to pay compensation if they have no influence or part to play in delivery of the service by the partner airline.
Well, if you do not believe me that the state of the law is different, let#s hear from the horse's mouth, the ECJ:

CURIA - Documents

Particularly paras 20-21:
It follows that an air carrier which, in the course of its air passenger carriage activities, decides to perform a particular flight, including fixing its itinerary, and, by so doing, offers to conclude a contract of air carriage with members of the public must be regarded as the operating air carrier. The adoption of such a decision means that that air carrier bears the responsibility for performing the flight in question, including, inter alia, any cancellation or significantly delayed time of arrival.In the present case, it is common ground that Thomson Airways merely leased the aircraft and the crew which performed the flight at issue in the main proceedings, but that the fixing of the itinerary and the performance of the flight were determined by TUIFly.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 11:55
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I don't disagree with any of that, but the key difference is that Stobart Air are not leasing aircraft to Flybe in order for Flybe to operate services ex SEN. Stobart Air are operating these services themselves, with their own fleet but using the brand of Flybe. A franchise is not a wet-lease so in my mind there is a subtle difference compared to TUI.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 12:07
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Originally Posted by JobsaGoodun
I don't disagree with any of that, but the key difference is that Stobart Air are not leasing aircraft to Flybe in order for Flybe to operate services ex SEN. Stobart Air are operating these services themselves, with their own fleet but using the brand of Flybe. A franchise is not a wet-lease so in my mind there is a subtle difference compared to TUI.
For the European Court of Justice, it is all about customer perspective. You look up all the details on the Flybe website, make your booking there, enter a contract with Flybe, get all the paperwork from Flybe etc. What from all of that could not create the impression that you raise a problem with Flybe, but with a company that is mentioned just once in the small print? Hence, Flybe is the port of call. It is up to Flybe to sort out the mess with Stobart Air. And I think this is justified. Nobody forces an airline to offer franchise contracts to other carriers and/or use third-party aircraft. And of course, Flybe will collect any compensation it has to pay out for Stobart flights from Stobart afterwards anyway.

To give two examples how difficult it could be for customers if it were differen, if you buy an Eurowings ticket, you can end up on an Eurowings, Germanwings, Eurowings Europe, LGW or TUIfly aircraft - why should it be up to the passenger to sort that mess out? Or if you buy an easyjet ticket for their new Berlin operation, it is a lottery which airline will actually operate the flight as easyjet has contracted aircraft from all corners of Europe to be able to start up at short notice.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 12:31
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Can't see how this is different from any other commercial transaction - your contract is with flybe.

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 13:18
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There was a similar conversation/debate in the Flybe thread back in June.

I also contacted Flybe regarding a delay and was palmed off onto Stobart. Stobart then paid out fairly quickly but I did have to contact them again as nothing was heard initially.
The address I was given was [email protected]
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 13:27
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I'm not defending the current position and agree that it shouldn't be the responsibility of the customer to do the chasing and said as much in an earlier response, but the legislation needs to be amended to get the required outcome you're seeking.

The legislation does not take into account franchise operations (of which there were probably none when the legislation was initially devised) and I guess, until it does, there is no obligation other than one of moral conscience for airlines to act differently.

Last edited by JobsaGoodun; 13th Sep 2018 at 13:30. Reason: Typo
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 14:38
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Originally Posted by JobsaGoodun
I'm not defending the current position and agree that it shouldn't be the responsibility of the customer to do the chasing and said as much in an earlier response, but the legislation needs to be amended to get the required outcome you're seeking. The legislation does not take into account franchise operations (of which there were probably none when the legislation was initially devised) and I guess, until it does, there is no obligation other than one of moral conscience for airlines to act differently.
One example that has long existed is British Airways. Nowadays it is down to Sun Air, but in the past way before 2004 Loganair, BMed, GB Airways were also franchise partners.

The same problem arises, btw, with airlines that have regional subsidiaries like KLM (cityhopper), Lufthansa (Cityline), British Airways (Cityflyer) or Air France (Hop!) which are not a straightforward franchise, but simply use of the brand. In those cases, mainline could also argue that it is a different airline. To the best of my knowledge, they do not use the same defence in such cases.

Last edited by virginblue; 13th Sep 2018 at 18:32.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 20:00
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For clarity (ha ha) this is what the 261 reg says-

In order to ensure the effective application of this Regulation, the obligations that it creates should rest with the operating air carrier who performs or intends to perform a flight, whether with owned aircraft, under dry or wet lease, or on any other basis.

This was confirmed in a recent EUCJ case, Wirth v Thomson, which said-

In today’s judgment, the Court holds that an air company which decides to perform a particular flight, including fixing its itinerary, and, by so doing, offers to conclude a contract of air carriage with members of the public must be regarded as the operating air carrier. The adoption of such a decision means that that air company bears the responsibility for performing the flight, including, inter alia, any cancellation or significantly delayed time of arrival.

Accordingly, an air company, such as, in this case, Thomson Airways, which leases an aircraft, including its crew, under a wet lease to another air company, but does not bear the operational responsibility for the flight, cannot be regarded as the operating air carrier for the purposes of that regulation. It is irrelevant in that regard that the booking confirmation of the flight issued to passengers states that the flight is operated by the former air company.

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/...cp180100en.pdf

One area that does require amendment is where passengers book return flights to (say) USA via the BA website or App, get a long delay or cancellation on the return, which it turns out is on AA hardware, only to then find out they are not covered by the regs.

Sorry for thread drift but thought it may help.
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Old 13th Sep 2018, 20:44
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You can see at a glance at the Flybe timetable that MAN and GLA are dead unless Stobart intend to announce that A N other, or Stobart themselves intend to sell the routes (can't really see that - can you?).

Other Stobart routes such as BUD and PRG and probably DUB will die only to be reborn with the leading LCC's from SEN. (This is something that Stobart deserve much praise for in my opinion.)

GRQ RNS CFR ANR. Seriously are these to end?
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