The German charter marketer Green Airlines strictly refuses to make compensation payments under EU regulation 261/2004 to those passengers who have been left sitting. Not only are the legal claims to care services and replacement transport being ignored, those affected should now also sit on the damage caused.
In order to defend against justified claims by buyers who could presumably have been cheated by this company - according to Austrian law, the presumption of innocence applies - Green Airlines is now also avoiding the compensation payments under EU Regulation 261/2004. For this you even afford a lawyer who is supposed to "pulverize" the customer claims. For many travelers, it is quite a deterrent if the request for compensation is immediately denied by a law firm.
Aviation Direct has such a lawyer letter. In it, the legal representative of Green Airlines claims that one would not be obliged to pay the compensation because the company would not be subject to EU Regulation 261/2004 at all. The charter marketer presents itself to its customers as a “climate-friendly airline” and even boasts of an environmentally friendly fleet on its homepage. But if you have to meet legitimate demands of passengers, you suddenly no longer want to be an airline. From a legal point of view, Green Airlines is not an airline at all.
Specifically, a Berlin law firm that works on behalf of the charter marketer argues with decision C-292/18 of the European Court of Justice. Two passengers had sued Sundair, who had applied for an operating license at the time, but had not yet been granted. By means of a so-called impossible legal interpretation, since according to the LBA, Green Airlines has not applied for an operating license, an attempt is made to deny the injured passengers compensation payments on the basis of the decision of the European Court of Justice cited: "Art. 3 (5) in conjunction with Article 2 (a) of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of February 11, 2004 on common rules for compensation and support services for passengers in the event of denied boarding and in the event of flight cancellation or long delay and the repeal of Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, it must be interpreted as meaning that an undertaking such as that which was involved in the main proceedings, which had applied for an operating license relating to the operation of the planned flights However, the date has not yet been granted cannot fall under this regulation, so that the passengers concerned have no entitlement to compensation under Article 5 (1) (c) and Article 7 (1) of this regulation. "
ECJ clearly on the side of travelers
On the other hand there is the decision C-532/17 of the ECJ. In a procedure brought against Thomson Airways, the European Court of Justice found, put simply, that the company that determines the flight route has to pay for the compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. “The term“ operating air carrier ”within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on common rules for compensation and support services for passengers in the event of denied boarding and cancellation or major Delay of flights and the repeal of Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 and, in particular, Article 2 (b) thereof, must be interpreted as meaning that, as part of a Contract for the rental of an aircraft with crew ("wet lease") rents the aircraft and crew, but does not bear operational responsibility for the flights, even if the booking confirmation issued to the passengers states that a seat is on a flight, that this flight is operated by the first-named company. "
It can therefore be assumed that the Green Airlines cause will shortly lead to numerous lawsuits and that the fact that, according to Alk Airlines, the charter flights sold were not paid to the operating carrier at all could still contain a criminal component. According to Austrian law, the presumption of innocence applies to them. Affected passengers should consult a lawyer, their legal protection insurance or a specialized debt collection service provider if they have problems with compensation.
Greenwashing allegations are in the room
Green Airlines is particularly environmentally friendly, but one Report from Airliners.de shows that the company allegedly only offset about 22 tons of carbon dioxide. That is not even enough for one circuit between Paderborn and Sylt. Naturefund, which is to serve as a cooperation partner, raises serious allegations that go in the direction of greenwashing.
The fact that Green Airlines collects donations during the booking and illegally charges payment fees for them also appears particularly spicy. In the Airliners.de article, the orchard meadow project states that no major donations have been received from this company. The board of directors does not even remember working with Green Airlines. The Karlsruhe Verkehrsverbund, which is also listed as a partner on the Green Airlines website, expresses a similar opinion.
It is also noteworthy that Green Airlines avoided interviews with Airliners.de and was extremely taciturn on this topic. In industry circles, the touted "overcompensation" of carbon dioxide emissions has been questioned for a long time. The research by Airliners.de shows that only 22 tons of carbon dioxide were offset and that it is otherwise anything but transparent. You are buttoned up and point out that it is still "in the works". Quite a strange statement when you consider that even the ultra-short route between Cologne and Paderborn is being advertised as the “most climate-friendly route” and at the same time you are still working on the environmental projects?
Airliners.de and FVW accuse Green Airlines of doing so-called “greenwashing”. It goes well with the fact that an almost 30-year-old Boeing 737-300 and a not very young A319 are portrayed as modern and environmentally friendly. The machine type Embraer 190 was wrongly moved into the ecological corner with regard to fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per seat. The E1 model is significantly more fuel-thirsty than the successor E2. From a mathematical point of view, even the A319 and Boeing 737-700 are cleaner if you calculate per seat.
In view of the many allegations against Green Airlines and the fact that you - for whatever reason - "reside" with a mailbox service provider, the question arises of how long you can survive on the market. There is much more to running a real airline than doing it as a leisure project for an airline junk seller and a software programmer. In particular, one should not “play around” with the topic of environmental protection, because many real airlines and airports have ambitious projects that could be damaged by a provider who lets its passengers sit down, avoids compensation payments and does not allow transparency in the area of environmental protection as they could possibly appear implausible.