Administrative court rules on reimbursement of cost of repatriation flights due to covid-19

Following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, the commercial flight system lapsed and European states organised flights to repatriate
their citizens. Passengers were informed that they would have to pay part of the cost for such repatriation, and signed a letter of
confirmation to this effect.

The Federal Republic of Germany subsequently asked passengers to reimburse part of the cost. In order to streamline the payment
process, the government formed case groups based on the distances flown. The government asked for payments of between €600 and
€1,000. The payment demand was sent out automatically to passengers without a prior hearing.

In this case, the plaintiffs, who had been passengers on board a repatriation flight, refused to pay the part of the cost requested. They filed
a legal action with the administrative court of Berlin.

The administrative court of Berlin upheld the governmental decision and dismissed the legal action.

In view of the number of 67,000 German citizens flown back to Europe, the court held that the chosen solution was acceptable in order to
ease the administrative burden. The flat rates per flight asked for by the government were lower than the costs occurred. The organisation
of the charter flights was necessary due to the lack of alternative commercial flights. It was not possible to provide the necessary
assistance in another way.

How the case continues and how our expert Carsten Vyvers assesses it can be read here.