The international aviation industry is characterized by complex regulations and agreements that are intended to ensure the smooth functioning of global air traffic. Three of the most significant aviation agreements are the 1929 Warsaw Convention, the 1999 Montreal Convention and the 2010 Cape Town Convention.
These agreements not only affect the rights and obligations of the airlines, but are also of great importance to the passengers, who can make various claims based on their provisions. This article takes a detailed look at the aviation agreements mentioned and their implications for airlines and passengers.
The Warsaw, Montreal and Cape Town Aviation Agreements have had a significant impact on the rights and obligations of airlines and passengers. While the Warsaw Convention laid the groundwork for airlines' international liability, the Montreal Convention greatly improved those limits of liability and expanded passenger rights. The Cape Town Agreement complements these agreements and aims to promote aircraft safety and financing. Passengers should be aware of their rights and, if necessary, make claims in order to receive adequate compensation and protection.
The Warsaw Agreement:
The Warsaw Convention was signed in Warsaw in 1929 and came into effect in 1933. It was the first international agreement dealing with the regulation of airline liability for damage to passengers and cargo during international flights. The agreement applies to most of the world and was later supplemented and partially replaced by the Montreal Agreement.
Airlines governed by the Warsaw Convention have limited liability in the event of accident or loss of baggage or cargo, provided they can demonstrate that they have taken all necessary measures to prevent damage. However, the limits of liability are comparatively low and cannot always adequately cover actual losses of passengers or cargo.
The Montreal Agreement:
The 1999 Montreal Convention is a development of, and partially supersedes, the Warsaw Convention. It was negotiated and signed within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Most countries in the world have joined the Montreal Convention. The aim of this agreement is to further improve airline liability and strengthen passenger rights.
Under the Montreal Convention, passengers are entitled to extended airline liability for accidents, injury or death during international flight. Liability limits have been significantly increased to ensure passengers receive fair compensation. In addition, the liability was extended to the transport of luggage and freight.
The Cape Town Agreement:
The Cape Town Agreement was adopted in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2010 and will come into force in conjunction with the Warsaw and Montreal Agreements. It deals specifically with aircraft safety and financing and aims to facilitate financing and access to modern aircraft for developing countries.
Special Drawing Rights and their meaning:
Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is an international reserve currency provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They serve to supplement member countries' foreign exchange reserves and are used to facilitate international transactions. The value of the SDR is set daily by the IMF based on a basket of major currencies including the euro.
Rights and obligations of passengers:
Under the aviation agreements mentioned, passengers have various rights and obligations that airlines must comply with. This includes:
- The right to reasonable assistance in the event of flight delays, cancellations or overbooking.
- The right to compensation for loss, damage or delay of baggage or cargo.
- The right to fair compensation in the event of an aircraft accident, injury or death.
- The obligation to follow all instructions of the flight crew and to contribute to the safety of the flight.
Limits of liability:
The limits of liability are regulated differently in the various agreements. Under the Warsaw Convention, liability limits are comparatively low and cannot always cover actual damages. The Montreal Convention significantly increases these limits in order to guarantee passengers fair compensation and to increase the responsibility of airlines.
States without aviation agreements:
There are some states that have not signed any of the aviation agreements mentioned or have only ratified individual agreements. These states may have their own national rules on liability and compensation which may not meet the standards of international conventions.
Enforcement of claims:
As a rule, passengers can assert their claims based on the aviation agreement directly with the airline. In many cases, airlines will be willing to provide reasonable compensation to avoid disputes. However, if no agreement can be reached, passengers can take legal action and go to court to enforce their claims. In some cases, national aviation authorities or international organizations such as ICAO can also be involved in disputes in order to find a fair solution.