Thailand ratifies aviation treaty

BANGKOK, 30 August 2017: Thailand became the 127th country to ratify the Montreal Convention, earlier this month, that identifies an airline’s liability to its customers.

Established in 1999, travellers could be forgiven for thinking Thailand’s airlines were already adhering to all the convention’s facets of customer and passenger care.

According to IATA, the Montreal Convention (MC99) addresses issues that were left uncovered in the Warsaw Convention.

IATA says MC99 modernises and replaces the limits on liability set by the Warsaw Convention, which was established in 1929 and was last amended in 1975.

Most passengers ticked off by their favourite airline would have probably threatened action under the Warsaw Convention.

Little did we know that that nations have been signing off  on a later updated convention born in 1999.

But it has still taken Thailand’s aviation authorities 18 years to wade through the process.

Once in the channels of legislation the process took seven years to ratify.

IATA reassures passengers who are traveling internationally that MC99 means better protection and fairer compensation when a flight is delayed, or when baggage is lost, delayed or damaged.

It also delivers better cover if there is an accident causing injury or loss of life.

And, as a global standard, MC99 gives passengers and airlines a common set of rules that bring simplicity and reduces the chances of long and complex litigation processes.

On why ratifying  MC99 takes so long, IATA’s CEO, Alexandre de Juniac points out that countries need to align laws with the treaty’s provisions and “passing them through parliament can take years”.

As for motivation, Thailand has plenty of reasons to sign off on MC99.

One would be the forecast that it will be among the world’s top 10 aviation markets by 2032. Already the country’s aviation supports 3.3 million jobs and delivers USD48 billion in economic activity, according to IATA.

Commenting in his  blog the IATA CEO said:

“Thailand ratification brings the MC99 states to 127, it is clear that there is momentum. As with all global standards, however, effectiveness increases with each new state that signs on.

“Thailand’s joining moves MC99 a big step forward, but we cannot yet say ‘job done’. Algeria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Vietnam rank high on our wish-list of states to complete MC99 ratification.”