Judgment has been handed down in May 2009 in the High Court trial Durhamtees Valley Airport (DTVA) v bmibaby in which DTVA sued bmibaby (and bmi) for in excess of £12 million losses for an alleged breach of agreement relating to establishing the base for a 2 aircraft operation at DTVA. bmibaby had made the decision to withdraw services as it was unable to sustain a commercially viable operation from that airport despite significant investment having been made.

This case raised interesting issues relating to the relationship between airlines and airports. The court found in favour of bmibaby and bmi on the grounds that the contract for DTVA contended was too vague to be given legal effect and this could not be cured by trying to imply terms of reasonable performance.

Akhil Shah was instructed by Mark Franklin and Kathryn Ward of DLA Piper UK LLP.