The Air India Express plane crash in Kozhikode on August 7 that killed 18 people, including the two pilots, could force the airline to pay compensation of Rs 1.19 million per passenger in the event of death or bodily injury, according to the notified passenger bill of rights. by the central government in February of last year.
How is this amount calculated?
According to the Charter of Passenger Rights for Air Travelers, compensation is calculated on the basis of the payment of damages of up to 1.13,100 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), or approximately 1.19 million rupees, for flights international As on Friday, 1 SDR was equal to $ 1.41, while the Indian rupee closed at 74.75 rupees to the US dollar on Monday.
- Liability limits during international flights for airlines were set under the Air Transport (Amendment) Act 2016, based on India’s adoption of the Montreal Convention in 2009, which unifies the rules governing compensation. to passengers around the world.
- The limit of liability for damages in the event of death or personal injury for each person was increased to 1,13,100 SDRs from 1.00,000 SDRs after the law was changed in 2016. Compensation for loss, delay or damage of the cargo was also revised upwards in 2016.
How did India adopt the Montreal Convention?
For domestic transport in India, the government applied an amended version of the Montreal Convention on Compensation. According to a notification of January 17, 2014 in the official journal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in the event of death or bodily injury during domestic flights, airlines are required to pay up to Rs 20 lakh per passenger.
- In the event of death inside an aircraft due to natural events, airlines are not required to pay any compensation on international and domestic flights.
- Air India officials did not respond to calls or email requesting comment on the amount of compensation to be paid to passengers on the Air India Express flight from Dubai to Kozhikode, which crashed last Friday.
- A senior airline official, who declined to be named, said “compensation is generally based on the protocols of the Montreal Convention and its specific adoption by India”.
- He said clarity on the exact details of the compensation per passenger will be available after the contribution of legal services. So far, Air India Express has announced interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh to relatives of deceased passengers over 12, Rs 5 lakh to passengers under 12, Rs 2 lakh to seriously injured passengers. and 50,000 rupees to other passengers injured in the incident.
- According to the latest Air India Express statement, of the 191 people, including six crew members aboard the ill-fated flight, 18 people died, while 56 injured passengers were discharged from various hospitals after “being in good shape” completed.
- “In a statement on Saturday, Air India Express said:” The airline is sufficiently insured and will pay compensation in accordance with applicable law in due course”.