[:en]The Court of Justicewith the judgment of 31 January 2013 in Case C-12/11, expresses itself once again on the issue of compensation for damage caused by delays and inconveniences to airline flights.

It is recalled, briefly, that with the Judgment of 23 October 2012, No. 629/10the Court held that, in the case of a passenger disembarking with a delay of three hours after the scheduled timethe parameters of damages dictated by EC Regulation No. 261/2004 apply. flat-rate compensation of between 250 and 600 eurosin the event of flight cancellation.

The judgment of 23 October also specified that compensation cannot be claimed if the air carrier proves that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, i.e. circumstances beyond the air carrier's actual control.

In the judgment under review, the Court of Justice specifies on this point that, even in the event of force majeure, companies are not exempt from theobligation to provide assistance to stranded passengers. Therefore, even if the flight is cancelled due to exceptional circumstances such as the closure of the airspace - in this case the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull - the carrier is still obliged to assist passengers without any time or money limitations by providing them with accommodation, meals and refreshments.

Moreover, the Court emphasises that, when the air carrier has not fulfilled its obligation to provide assistance to the passenger, the latter may obtain, only the reimbursement of such sums as are necessary, appropriate and reasonable.