Lok Sabha passes Air Carriage (Amendment) Bill, 2007

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New delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) The Lok Sabha today passed by voice vote The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2007 aimed at upgrading compensation package for international travellers in the event of death or injury and for loss or damage to baggage to bring the relevant legal liability regime in the country in line with the Montreal Convention, 1999.

Winding up debate, Civil Aviation Minsiter Praful Patel said the amended Act has an added advantage as a claimant-traveller can now file suit for damages in his or her domiciled place.

The compensation package will not distiguish between any class of travellers as it is guided by the principle of equity, the Minister said in his reply.

Allaying members' apprehension, he assured the House that the Bill amending the Air Carriage Act of 1972 will not impact the domestic air fares.

To members' demand for enhancing the compensation package for domestic travellers also, the Minister said the government will consider it and bring separate guidelines for the purpose. But he did not agree with members' demand for compensation to those travellers who suffered injury or death in premises of airports as it was beyond the control of airlines. ''It cannot be done as the Act is guided by international protocol,'' he added.

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