Change Is in the Air in the US and Canada… but what about Brazil?

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While passengers in Europe have enjoyed the protection of Regulation 261/2004 for well over a decade, across the Atlantic passengers have had to fight for their rights to be recognized and enforced. However, the trend toward a greater balance between passengers’ rights and airlines’ needs seems to have increased in 2019, with the Federal Government of Canada implementing new air passenger protection regulations and the U.S. Congress introducing an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights proposal. The Canadian regulations and the U.S. proposal both reflect lessons learned from the deficiencies in the EU Regulation. Having a fixed amount of compensation increases legal certainty for airlines and passengers. The U.S. proposal includes fixed amounts for delays and cancellations, in stark contrast to that nation’s current scheme, which has never required airlines to provide such compensation. Meanwhile, in Brazil, a 2010 Bill to modernize the nation’s passenger rights scheme has languished, and the government’s most recent Resolution is silent on delays and cancellations, leaving these situations to be resolved by the courts. While the Brazilian system offers one of the highest levels of passenger protection, its fragmented approach is detrimental to both airlines and passengers because of its lack of legal certainty. Much could be learned from the Canadian and American efforts, suggesting that Brazil should craft its own legislation to better balance the rights of passengers and the needs of airlines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)269-294
JournalIssues in Aviation Law & Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes

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