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Balkan holidays/bh airlines fligh delay claim response

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Hi please see below the response from BH airlines to my delay flight claim

- seems to be saying, yes the aircraft was broke but we are only a charter company so tough!

Also interesting interpretation of BH holidays terms and conditions. Whats next then SC court?

any views gratefully received:


Thank you for contacting BH AIR Customer Service Department and thus giving us the chance to review your complaint. Thank you for your patience while the case was being reviewed.



First of all, we would like to apologize for the inconveniences you faced due to the delay of your flight.

We do realize that any delay could be quite frustrating and we strive to avoid such occurrences.

Unfortunately, delays in aviation do happen and in such cases we try to at least minimize them as much as possible.


We would like to take this opportunity to explain that your return flight was delayed due to a combination of factors which made it very difficult for the airline's ground-handling agent to predict how long it would be delayed for.

We can advise that your flight was unfortunately adversely affected by a series of cumulative delays to the aircraft on

earlier rotations.



The root cause of your delay was a technical problem to the aircraft on a previous rotation.

We naturally regret to hear that the end of your holiday was marred by the above delay.

*We can advise that the track record of BH Airlines on timekeeping is very good, but unfortunately sometimes delays do occur for reasons beyond our control.


As a charter airline BH Air has less flexibility than other airlines (such as e.g. Lufthansa or Air France) to replace an aircraft in order to comply with its initial schedule. Preventing this delay would have led us to making „intolerable sacrifices” in the light of the capacities of BH Air’s undertaking at the time of the flight, which sacrifices (as per the rationale of the European court judgment on Case C-294/10 (Eglītis-Ratnieks v. Latvijas Republikas Ekonomikas ministrija) we have no legal obligation to make.



Evident from the above, the delay of the flight was caused by circumstances which we could not avoid even where we took all reasonable measures within the capacity of our airline.


Furthermore, we would like to advise you that BH Air operated the flight on the basis of an aircraft lease arrangement but not a contract of carriage with you and the members of your family as passengers.



The flight schedule announced was for reference only.

As stated on Balkan Holidays website – flight timings and routings are only provisional and may be subject to change! Hence, the Airline had no contractual obligation vis-à-vis you and your family to comply with any specific flight schedule and may not be responsible for any flight delay.



For that reason and reasons mentioned above, we may not honour your claim for compensation under Regulation No 261/2004 or otherwise.



That being said, we would like to take this one last chance to apologize for all inconveniences caused.

We always strive to give our passengers only the best customer service and so your feedback as it is highly




We hope that they will give us the chance to welcome you on board our aircraft in the future and give you the customer service you deserve!


Kindest regards,

BH Air Claims Team

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It is funny how BHAir's website has a section on passengers' rights!



I doubt a court would agree with them that there was no contract to carry you as passengers (who did you pay for the whole holiday, or who did you pay for the flight if paid separately?) (was their contract to carry you with yourself or with an intermediate third party?)


Even if your contract was with another firm (and their contract with another firm too) : BHair are the "air carrier", they are an EU air carrier, and the flight was to or from an EU destination?.


So your options are to complain through Bulgaria's equivalent of the CAA, or send the airline a rejection of their reply, and a (14 day?) letter before claim, prior to going down the Small Claims route.


The latter may be speedier / easier!

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