Ryanair has partially adapted its jurisdictional competence clause and private citizens can now submit their lawsuits to the Belgian courts, Happy Flights announced on Friday. Happy Flights is an association that helps airline customers with their court cases. It issued a statement after the Cassation court overruled a decision by the Dutch-speaking Brussels Business tribunal. The tribunal had ruled that legal disputes with the Irish budget airline should only be handled by the Irish courts.
“Ryanair has partially adapted its jurisdictional competence clause, so private citizens can now go through the Belgian courts. However, associations like Happy Flights still have to go to Ireland, so there are still some restrictions. They realised they weren’t quite 100 percent compliant”, says Steven Williams, the President of Happy Flights.
The Dutch-speaking Brussels Business tribunal said it couldn’t handle legal disputes with Ryanair. The Irish budget airline had a clause in its terms and conditions that said any legal dispute had to go through the Irish courts. The association says this is in contravention of European regulation that protects passengers.
“All this shows we were right to fight it and we can now take our cases to the Belgian courts. It was really important that this clause was removed”, says Steven Willems. “There are still ongoing lawsuits regarding last year’s strike and we didn’t want to submit them without being 100% sure as it costs money”, he added.