Compensation claim rejected by KLM because flight was codeshare with Delta?

In February 2020 I and my partner (UK citizens) were booked to fly from Calgary in Canada to Newcastle in the UK, via Minneapolis and Amsterdam. 
We booked on the KLM website and received a KLM e-ticket - our return journey was a one stop journey via Amsterdam, both flights being on KLM itself. However the 'outbound' involved two codeshare Delta flights, from Calgary to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to Amsterdam, although the final flight was on KLM from Amsterdam to Newcastle.
The Delta flight from Calgary was "delayed due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft as a consequence of technical reasons" (KLM's words) and as a result of this we would have missed our connecting flight in Minneapolis. Delta therefore rebooked us on a Westjet flight from Calgary to Toronto the following day, and from Toronto to Amsterdam on KLM and then onwards to Newcastle.
Ultimately we arrived in Newcastle 19 hours later than scheduled.
I claimed compensation for the delay from KLM under 
EC Regulation 261/2004 on the basis that my ticket and contract were with KLM, a European airline, we were European citizens, and the journey booked, whilst originating in Canada, had a destination in the EU.
KLM have now contacted me rejecting my claim with the following words: "
as Delta is a non-EU/EEA based airline, the EC261/2004 Regulation does not apply when the flight is departing from an airport not located in the EU/EEA. Since this flight departed from Calgary (Non-EU zone), this is not a situation where there is an entitlement to compensation"
Can I seek help from any of you Forum experts?
Are KLM justified in dismissing my claim?
If so, are there any other avenues I can pursue for compensation?
If not, what should my next steps be?

Comments

  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,881
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    The position that KLM give and their explanation are right.

    Had it been ex EU or on KLM metal things would be different.  

    They might give you an ex grata amount of miles but no EU261 compensation due for the delay in this instance. One to chalk up.
  • mopezone
    mopezone Posts: 61
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    Westin said:
    The position that KLM give and their explanation are right.

    Had it been ex EU or on KLM metal things would be different.  

    They might give you an ex grata amount of miles but no EU261 compensation due for the delay in this instance. One to chalk up.
    So is it therefore not possible to claim some sort of compensation from Delta or within Canada, as it was a US airline departing from Canada?
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,881
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    Not to the generous levels of EU261.
    If the delay fault was Delta then they might offer some miles at you but the value poor. I’d think 5000-10000.
  • Alan_Bowen
    Alan_Bowen Posts: 4,840
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    There are compensation rights in Canada but as Westin rightly points out, less generous than EU261. If the airline can show the delay was due to weather or the need to de-ice, quite possible in the frozen north of the US and Canada in February, they can avoid the claim completely so long as they make alternative arrangements for you. I suspect that Delta would also argue their obligation, and the length of the delay would relate only to their flight from Calgary on the assumption the transatlantic flight operated normally. You can read full details of the scheme here https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/flight-delays-and-cancellations-a-guide and will need to contact Delta directly. 
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