Lithuania's Court of Appeal has upheld a September 2023 judgement that found tour operator Novaturas unlawfully terminated a contract with GetJet Airlines (GW, Vilnius).

On March 7, 2024, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Vilnius Regional Court had not erred in its decision to award EUR1.15 million euros (USD1.26 million) to GetJet after finding that the tour operator illegally and unilaterally axed a long-term charter contract in late December 2020.

GetJet offers clients ACMI and charter flights. According to ch-aviation fleets data, its inhouse fleet includes six A320-200s, one (inactive) A321-200, and five (three inactive) B737-800s.

"As a company, we value each and every one of our customers," Rūta Kulvinskaitė, CEO of GetJet Airlines, told ch-aviation. "The challenges we're facing in this situation, a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, are very unpleasant for us as well. Although we evaluate the decision of the Lithuanian Court of Appeal positively, we hope to prevent similar situations in the future and aim to resolve any issues through non-legal means."

In the Regional Court hearing, Novaturas had unsuccessfully argued that even after the lifting of Covid-19 quarantines, it could not fulfil its obligations under the original contract because of force majeure circumstances. The contract originally ran through 2022. The court applied an 8% per annum interest rate to the EUR1.15 million award, backdating the interest start date to January 1, 2021.

In a statement following last week's ruling, Novaturas says it has three months to file a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court of Lithuania but notes that any appeal will not suspend the judgements of the lower courts. The company says it will analyse this judgment and its arguments and then decide on possible further action.