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Tramac delay in Houston: Volaris Airlines fined up to USD 300,000

IFM_Volaris Airlines
Volaris will pay USD 150,000 of the fine, and if it breaks the tarmac rules once more in a year, it will have to pay the remaining USD 150,000

The United States Department of Transportation announced that it would fine Mexican airline Volaris Airlines up to USD 300,000 for tarmac delays at airports that are against the law.

International flights cannot be delayed on the tarmac for more than four hours without giving passengers a chance to disembark, according to federal law and government regulations.

According to the department, a Volaris flight in Houston in 2021 stayed on the tarmac for an extended amount of time without letting passengers off. A comparable event took place in St. Louis in 2022.

Volaris will pay USD 150,000 of the fine, and if it breaks the tarmac rules once more in a year, it will have to pay the remaining USD 150,000. Similar fines have been imposed by the department recently.

“This enforcement action reflects our ongoing commitment to protecting consumers and holding airlines accountable,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement, SaltWire reported.

According to Volaris, “The saturation of air terminals was the reason for the delays. Volaris fully complies with the laws and regulations applicable in all the countries in which it operates, prioritising the safety of passengers and maintaining strict operational control.”

In January 2023, the department announced that it intended to pursue stiffer penalties from airlines and other violators of consumer protection laws, citing the need to discourage similar offences in the future.

The largest-ever fine of USD 4.1 million for breaking the rule was imposed on American Airlines in August for forcibly keeping thousands of passengers on the tarmac for hours.

American informed the department that the delays were caused by unusual weather, and that the 43 affected flights accounted for less than 0.001% of the roughly 7.7 million flights that were conducted.

The department fined British Airways USD 135,000 in April 2023 for failing to guarantee the prompt deplaning of passengers during a 2017 tarmac delay.

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