This paper analyses the legal basis for the carrier’s liability in the cases of cancellation of flights or denied boarding. The important question is whether cancellation cases are treated as forms of delay and therefore, the provisions of the carriage by air conventions which limit the carrier’s liability and base it on a presumed-fault is to be applied. On the other hand, there is a strong argument that cancelation and prolonged delay amount to a breach of the carriage contract by non-performance and therefore, the claim falls outside the scope of the carriage by air Conventions. The important issue is which one of these views reflects the objectives of the Conventions and which view was adopted by the UAE courts.

The European Union and some countries provided specific rules for delays, cancellations and denied boarding. IATA on the other hand, recognises the right of air passengers to re-routing, refunds or compensation if the denied boarding and cancellations are within the carrier’s control. This paper discusses how wide is the application of these rules and what effects do they have on the uniform application of the Conventions on one hand. On the other hand, to what extent the existence of several rules provide protection to air consumers?