How the families and victims of airplane crashes are compensated

Families and victims of airplane crashes are compensated as follows:

-In case of an accident, the Warsaw convention states that the victims and their families can get up to $170, 000 per fatality.

-If a flight is delayed, the airline is liable to compensate each individual passenger up to $7,221.

-If a passenger’s luggage is lost or destroyed under the care of the airline, the company is liable for payments of up to $1,740.

Unlike car accidents, air crashes are not common. However, when they do take place, the consequences are devastating.
On July 17 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine. All 298 people aboard the flight perished. In the same year on July 23 the same year, a typhoon caused a TransAsia plane to crash in Taiwan, leading to the deaths of 48 people.

Compensation for crash victims and their families
In the past, airlines operated under the Warsaw Convention, an international accord that was agreed upon in 1929. According to the convention, damages for injuries or deaths caused by a plane crash placed at a maximum of $8,300 per passenger.

The Montreal Convention
In 1999, the Warsaw Convention was replaced by the Montreal Convention. The convention states that the airplane carrier is held liable for any deaths or injuries suffered by a passenger, if the accident that caused the said deaths or injuries took place onboard the aircraft. The airplane company is also responsible for any deaths or injuries that may occur during embarking or disembarking the plane.

In addition, article 21 of the convention states that in cases where a passenger loses their life, an airline is responsible for payments of up to $1,74, 000 per passenger. If the stricken victims and their families ask for higher compensation than this, the airline has the freedom to contest it in a court of law. If the airline goes to court and manages to prove that the deaths or injuries were not caused by negligence, any other wrongful act, or error of omission on its part, then it is not liable to pay a bigger amount of compensation.

Article 19 of the convention states that if passengers suffer any damage due to delay, then an airline is bound by law to pay up to $7,221 per passenger. In case a passenger’s luggage is destroyed or lost while under the care of an airline, the company is liable to pay $1,740.

The compensation rates are calculated according to definitions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The compensation amounts are reviewed every five years.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crash
On March 10, 2019, a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by the Ethiopian national carrier crashed near the country’s town of Bishofu, leading to the deaths of all the 157 people aboard. The plane had been in the air for only six minutes.

In the aftermath, after recriminations and the grounding of that particular model of Boeing planes by countries such as the United States, Ethiopian airlines came up with a compensation package for the families of the dead victims.

Based on the Montreal Convention, each of the families was expected to receive at least Sh17 million. However, the families would have to wait for investigations on what caused the plane crash, to be concluded.

Kenya Airways
For instance, in 2007, a Kenya Airways flight crashed in Douala, Cameroon. After investigators released their report in 2010, the national career had no choice but to fork out at sh9.72 million to each family that lost a relative.

With 169 fatalities of the crash, Kenya Airways paid out a staggering total compensation of approximately Sh1.65 billion.

Also Read: Full List Of Kenyans Who Own Helicopters And Cost Of Hiring One