The Romanian carrier Blue Air was fined £40,000 in court this week for breaking Covid-19 regulations, making it the first carrier to be fined for COVID related offences.

 

The first case of it’s kind

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has successfully prosecuted Romanian airline Blue Air for failure to adhere to Covid-19 rules, resulting in a £40,000 fine for the firm. This is the first case of a UK airline being fined under the Covid Enforcement Regulations, which gave the CAA new powers to regulate Covid restrictions on international travel.

NHS envelope PLF form and boarding pass
Airlines are required to check that passengers arriving to the UK complete a PLF form | © Wales Online

The airline pleaded guilty to six offences at Uxbridge Magistrates court this Tuesday, of which five were for failing to ensure that passengers at Heathrow had filled out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF). The PLF is a mandatory form that all travellers flying to the UK must complete before arrival. It contains details such as where they will be staying, whether they are vaccinated, and booking reference numbers for any Covid-19 tests they will take whilst in the country. It is one of the few remaining coronavirus requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers.

 

The airline was also found guilty for failure to check that a passenger had evidence of a negative pre-departure coronavirus test. The Romanian carrier will be required to pay £40,000 in fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions. The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed that prior to the recent court case, Blue Air received fixed penalty notices for other Covid-19 violations, but made no attempt to pay or resolve these. The CAA’s Consumer Director, Paul Smith commented:

“We welcome the Court’s decision to fine Blue Air Aviation over breaches of the COVID Enforcement Regulations. While we generally observe high levels of compliance from airlines against the regulations, it is important for consumer confidence and public health that failures to follow the requirements are dealt with appropriately.”

What are your thoughts on the CAA fining Blue Air? Do you expect we will see more cases like this in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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