From a legal point of view, bird strikes are part of the "normal circumstances" which cannot be influenced by the airlines. Therefore they are not to be made responsible for it. The BGH agreed with the lower courts in its ruling.
Two cases of tourists, who got stuck in the african gambia and in fuerteventura, because birds got caught in the engine of the airplanes were negotiated. In fuerteventura this happened at the start, which had to be cancelled as a result. The plaintiffs were booked on another airline and flown to hamburg instead of hannover. They reached their home with one day delay.
In gambia, the aircraft’s engine was so badly damaged by birds during the landing approach that a return flight was impossible. A new airplane had to be requested from europe, which arrived only after several hours. The BGH judges referred this case back to the regional court to clarify the details.
The plaintiffs’ point that such accidents could be prevented with so-called vergramungsaktionen fur vogel mit falken oder bollern was not considered relevant by presiding BGH judge peter meier-beck. Such actions were not the responsibility of the airlines but of the airports. "Moreover, birds can also get into gear outside the land."
The plaintiffs’ demand that the airlines provide faster replacements was also not considered feasible by meier-beck. The airlines could not keep spare planes and crew at every airport. This is not to be financed.