The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

On 8 November 2021, the Amsterdam District Court rendered judgment on the claim against Royal Air Maroc of ANVR and individual travel agents who are members of IATA.[1] ANVR is an association whose members are individual companies in the travel field. Several Royal Air Maroc flights were cancelled on account of the COVID pandemic. Going against a European Commission recommendation, Royal Air Maroc informed passengers that compensation would be given exclusively in the form of vouchers. They are seeking, among other things, a declaratory judgment to the effect that Royal Air Maroc’s conduct is unlawful and that passengers are entitled to timely reimbursement. In these proceedings, ANVR represents its members and individual travellers who have granted it a power of attorney to act as their authorised representative.

ANVR’s claim on behalf of the individual claimants was declared inadmissible because the association had failed to submit copies of identity documents, as a result of which it could not be verified whether the authorisation forms were actually signed by the passengers in question. Accordingly, ANVR has insufficiently substantiated that it was authorised to lodge the claim on behalf of the individual passengers as well. ANVR’s claim on behalf of its members was declared admissible; they have a sufficient interest in having the claims upheld because they have suffered damages. This damage has been caused by the fact that Royal Air Maroc refuses to refund.. Among other things, the court issued a declaratory judgment to the effect that the policy observed by Royal Air Maroc with regard to vouchers and refunds is unlawful because it denies the passenger the choice between an alternative flight or reimbursement.

[1]District Court of Amsterdam 8 November 2021, ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2021:6461