SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) is among five international airlines that fly into Europe that have been told to pay passengers for delays they may have experienced.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in its press release on Wednesday (Feb 22) that American Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, SIA and Turkish Airlines will have to obey European laws or be taken to court. They all face enforcement action after a CAA review found them to be breaching consumer law, it added.
These airlines had told the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that they did not pay compensation to passengers who had experienced a delay on the first leg of a flight that caused them to miss a connecting flight and, as a result, arrive at their final destination more than three hours late, the press release said.
CAA added that SIA currently places compensation claims for these delays "on hold".
Under European Union (EU) law, airlines may have to provide compensation if passengers arrive at their destinations late. These rules, however, only apply to certain flights to, from or within the EU and only if the airline was at fault, such as if it was through poor aircraft maintenance or flight crew being available, the UK CAA website said.
Compensation ranges from 250 euros (S$372.70) for delays of more than three hours for short-haul flights to 600 euros for delays of more than four hours for long-haul flights, it added.
Mr Richard Moriarty, director of Consumers and Markets at the CAA, said: "Airlines' first responsibility should be looking after their passengers, not finding ways in which they can prevent passengers upholding their rights.
"So it's disappointing to see a small number of airlines continuing to let a number of their passengers down by refusing to pay them the compensation they are entitled to," he said.
In response to queries, SIA said it has been in contact with the UK's CAA on the issue "for some time".
"There is a lack of clarity in the law which is currently the subject of ongoing litigation before the Court of Appeal," a spokesperson for the airline said, adding that SIA will continue to work with the CAA to resolve differences with respect to the application of the regulation to missed connections.