Montreal Convention limits are set to increase by 13.9% on December 28, 2019. The increase is intended to compensate for inflation that has occurred since the limits were last increased in 2008.

Enacted in 1999, the Montreal Convention establishes a liability regime for international commercial air carriers, and provides numerous rights and remedies for passengers traveling between member states. The Convention quantifies possible monetary recovery using Special Drawing Rights ("SDRs"), an artificial currency set by the International Monetary Fund. As of December 2, 2019, one SDR equaled $1.37.

The limits will increase as follows:

  • Limits for injury or death caused by accident on board the aircraft or in the course of embarking or disembarking will increase from 113,100 SDRs to 128,821 SDRs;
  • Delay limits will increase from 4,694 SDRs to 5,346 SDRs;
  • Baggage destruction, loss, damage or delay limits will increase from 1,131 SDRs to 1,288 SDRs per passenger; and
  • Cargo destruction, loss, damage or delay limits will increase from 19 SDRs per kilogram to 22 SDRs per kilogram.

To the extent your business involves insurance or contracts relating to international commercial air travel, now may be a good time to review any such policies or documents that could be impacted by the Convention's upcoming limit increases.

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