The cabinet has approved in principle a draft law raising the amount of compensation for plane crash victims to USD160,000 (BDT1.35 crore) ratifying the Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99).
The approval came in a cabinet meeting on the 'Civil Aviation (Montreal Convention 1999) Act 2019’ headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 26.
Passengers will also be able to claim damages from carriers in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo under the act.
The law aims to ensure the rights of passengers travelling to an international destination, said Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Cabinet Secretary at press meeting at the Secretariat.
“The law has proposed 10 years’ jail and a fine of BDT100 crore for airline owners in case they fail to give the compensation,” he added.
The draft also proposed increasing the compensation for each kg of lost luggage to USD70 from USD25 and the rate will be USD27 instead of USD25 for each kg of lost cargo.
Despite signing the Montreal Convention 1999 in 2003, Bangladesh did not ratify the accord until now. Consequently, passenger rights, civil aviation management and compensation for accidents in the country were regulated under the framework of the Warsaw Convention 1955.
As per the Warsaw Convention, passengers are entitled to claims of BDT21.12 lakh or USD25,000 as compensation in case of civil aviation mishaps.
The MC99 establishes airline liability in case of death or injury to passengers, delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo. It unifies all of the different international treaty regimes covering airline liability that had developed haphazardly since 1929.
It was formulated to be a single, universal treaty to govern airline liability around the world. The MC99 gives consumers better protection and compensation and facilitates faster air cargo shipments.