Aviation Litigation and Dispute Resolution AVIATION

The Aviation Practice represents airlines, airline alliances and airport operators in litigation and other types of dispute resolution. Some examples are:

  • Appeal of passenger rights legislation. We successfully represented a US airline trade group in appealing a New York statute requiring airlines experiencing extended pre-departure ground delays to provide passengers with specified amenities. The appellate court agreed with our argument that federal law preempts state laws relating to the service of any air carrier.
  • Appeal of FAA rule to establish slot auctions. We represented a US airline trade group in an appeal challenging a new rule recently finalized by the FAA to conduct an auction of slot leases at New York area airports.
  • Skycap class action suit. We represented a US airline in a class action brought by a group of skycaps alleging that the fee revenue generated by the airline’s passenger fee for curb-side baggage check-in services is payable to them under common law principles and a Massachusetts state law governing tips for personal services.
  • Los Angeles International Airport rates and charges dispute. We represented a US airline in a US Department of Transportation adjudicatory proceeding in which a number of major airlines successfully challenged the rates and charges imposed by the City of Los Angeles for the use of Los Angeles International Airport. DOT’s final order in the proceeding is now under review in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Air cargo rate investigation. We represented two major international airlines in connection with industry-wide investigations by antitrust/competition authorities in the US, Europe and elsewhere relating to the imposition of fuel and other surcharges on air cargo rates. We also represented the same airlines and their affiliates in related class action litigation with respect to passenger fares and cargo rates in the US.
  • Antitrust class action suit. We achieved an innovative and cost-effective settlement—opposed by the Department of Justice—in a certified antitrust class action brought by a nationwide class of travel agents against the major airlines in which plaintiffs sought over $50 billion in damages.
  • Overflight fee litigation. We represented a major foreign carrier in a series of court actions successfully challenging FAA regulations imposing fees on flights that "overfly" US controlled airspace without taking off or landing in the United States.
  • September 11 compensation litigation. We represented a US cargo carrier in litigation challenging the methodology used by the Department of Transportation to determine the amount of compensation a carrier may receive for losses incurred as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Predatory pricing litigation. We represented a leading international airline in litigation before a Court of Appeals concerning predatory pricing allegations, including the negotiation of a settlement with the competent authority.
  • Landing fee litigation. We represented a number of airlines in several landmark litigations before a Court of Appeals and a regional court concerning landing fees at an international airport in Germany.
  • Dispute on use of airspace. We represented an international hub airport before the European Commission and the German courts, including the German Supreme Court for administrative matters, in a dispute on the use of the airspace of a European country for approaches to and departures from a neighboring country's largest airport, including advice on negotiations on a bilateral treaty and on strategic options.
Crones, Christian

Dr. Christian Crones

Partner

+49 69 27 10 78 207 (t)

christian.crones@wilmerhale.com

Mueller, Thomas

Thomas Mueller

Partner

+1 202 663 6766 (t)

thomas.mueller@wilmerhale.com

Novick, Robert T.

Robert T. Novick

Partner

+1 202 663 6140 (t)

robert.novick@wilmerhale.com

Ross, David J.

David J. Ross

Partner

+1 202 663 6515 (t)

david.ross@wilmerhale.com

Wissmann, Matthias

Matthias Wissmann

Senior International Counsel

+49 30 20 22 64 26 (t)

matthias.wissmann@wilmerhale.com

Meltzer, Ronald I.

Ronald I. Meltzer

Senior Counsel

+1 202 663 6389 (t)

ronald.meltzer@wilmerhale.com