Law 14.034/2020 sanctioned, providing for emergency measures for Brazilian civil aviation due to the COVID-19 pandemic

On August 5, 2020, Law 14.034/2020 was sanctioned, following approval by the Federal Senate on July 16, 2020. The text of Provisional Measure No. 925/2020, which was updated and expanded by the National Congress and gave rise to this Law, provides measures to assist the aviation sector during the pandemic, establishing as some of its main points:

(i) The period for airline ticket refunds, for flights between 03/19/2020 and 12/31/2020, will be of 12 (twelve) months from the date of the canceled flight, observing the rules of the contracted service and maintaining material assistance, in accordance with the current regulations. Adjustment for inflation, based on INPC, is also guaranteed. Conversely, the consumer is granted the right to accept a credit from the airline of a value greater than or equal to the amount paid for the ticket, to be used within 18 (eighteen) months from the date of the canceled flight, with exemption from contractual penalties;

 (ii) Possible indemnity for pain and suffering damages, due to failure in the execution of the air transport contract, is conditioned on the effective demonstration of the occurrence and extent of damage experienced by the passenger or by the cargo recipient. As such, any damage resulting from passenger air transport will not be the carrier’s responsibility when it is proved that, due to Act of God or force majeure (i.e., by declaration of a pandemic, weather conditions, flight restrictions determined by the competent authority or unavailability of airport infrastructure), it was impossible to adopt the necessary, sufficient and appropriate measures to avoid the damage;

(iii) The resources of the National Civil Aviation Fund (FNAC) may be subject to and guarantee of a loan for provision to airport concession holders or to regular air transportation services concessions and to air transport auxiliary service providers, to be signed by 12/31/2020, and provided that there is proof of damages suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic; and

(iv) Extinction of the international boarding fare, as of 01/01/2021.

Demarest’s Aeronautical Law team is available for any additional clarification or assistance on this topic.