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Association of British Travel Agents Ltd (Abta) v Civil Aviation Authority

The guidance note ‘Sale of Air Package Arrangements: Advice on the need to provide consumer protection’ issued by the Civil Aviation Authority was misleading in a number of respects and it was appropriate to direct its withdrawal.

3 November 2006

The appellant aviation authority (C) appealed against a decision ([2006] EWHC 13) declaring as unlawful its guidance note entitled ‘Sale of Air Package Arrangements: Advice on the need to provide consumer protection’. The guidance note had been issued in 2005 to help travel organisers and agents to understand the definition of an air package set out in Council Directive 90/314 on package travel, package holidays and package tours and in domestic Regulations, and to help them to decide what parts of their business needed protection under an air travel organiser’s licence. The respondent (B), a trade association for travel agents and tour operators, sought judicial review of the guidance note. The judge had held that it contained passages that mis-stated the law or were otherwise misleading and quashed it. C argued that the court should not dispose of the appeal without first seeking a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on the following relevant question: if, ...

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