The world is yet to recover from the shock of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. It was a very sad day for aviation and I sincerely hope the culprits shall be brought to book.
I have taken time to read the Montreal Convention (The Convention) and liability of carriers in such situations. Malaysia is one of the 107 states that are parties to the Convention.
The carrier is liable under Article 17 of the convention for the death of passengers if the accident that caused the death took place on board the aircraft, or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking. Contributory negligence or any wrongful act or omission on part of a passenger exonerates the carrier from any liability.
OPINION: For the record, I am neither an employee nor spokesperson for Emirates Airline. This article is written in my capacity as a lawyer and aviation professional.
It was stated in that article that, “Family members of the late Sande Jacob Mremi, a resident of Dar es Salaam, pointed a finger to Emirates Airlines for failing to board him for treatment in India.” They further alleged that Emirates reneged on its contractual obligation by failing to board the obese passenger who had paid US$13,800 and was in possession of a confirmed ticket.
According to the article, the deceased weighed 250 kilograms. Emirates Tanzania managers said the airline would have to “uproot” at least six seats in order for engineers to create a seat that would permit the deceased to fly safely and comfortably.