December 31, 2019

Montreal Convention Limits of Liability Increased

Holland & Knight Aviation Law Blog
Judy R. Nemsick
Aviation Law Blog

The Montreal Convention governs the rights and liabilities of parties for claims arising during international carriage between State Parties. Specifically, Articles 21 and 22 of the Convention set forth limits of liability for claims relating to passenger injury, delay, baggage and cargo. Pursuant to Article 24, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is required to review these limits every five years to compensate for inflation that has occurred since the treaty took effect in 2004. The limits were last increased in 2009. In July, ICAO proposed a 13.9% increase and the new limits took effect on December 28, 2019. 

Below is a chart setting forth in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)1 the original limits, the first increase in 2009, and the new 2019 amounts:2

Montreal Convention 1999

Original limits

Revised limits (SDRs)
as of
30 December 2009

Revised limits (SDRs)
as of  
28 December 2019

Article 21 – Passenger bodily injury / death




Article 22 (1) –
Passenger delay




Article 22 (2) – Baggage loss, damage or delay4 




Article 22 (3) – Cargo loss, damage or delay





1 The Special Drawing Right is an artificial currency set by the International Monetary Fund. Its value is based on a basket of five currencies – the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.

2 The chart may be found here.

3 As of December 31, 2019, 1 SDR = USD 1.38. Accordingly, as of this date, the liability limits convert to approximately USD 178,183.92; USD 7,394.53; USD 1,781.55 and USD 30.43/kg.

The baggage liability limit applies per passenger.

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