Durham Airport had an agreement with BMIBaby. The Airport agreed to provide substantial funding to support the Airline being at the Airport. In return, the Airline agreed to have two aircraft based operations at the Airport. The Airline withdrew from the Airport after suffering losses and thus did not comply with the contract. For quantifying the damages suffered by the breach, it became a question of whether a term needed to be implied into the contract as to how many times a week the Airline would fly there or whether just some presence was enough and the Airline could have discretion as to the number of times.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the contract was not too vague so as to be enforceable. It was sufficiently certain. Where possible, courts should look to uphold contracts even if not every detail was included. It was also unnecessary to imply a term into the contract providing that the Airline would operate the aircraft in a way that was reasonable in all the circumstances. In deciding whether a breach of contract had occurred, the only question was whether the Airline had in a real and genuine sense been flying its aircraft there. The question as to how many times this happened was entirely a matter for the Airline’s discretion.
Paul Gershlick, a Partner at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP and editor of Upload-IT, comments: ‘This case gives a practical reminder that parties to a contract should ensure that their contracts contain sufficient detail. Don’t rely on something to be implied. If the Airport had wanted the Airline to have a certain number of flights a week, it should have said so in the contract.’