Air Canada is facing a lawsuit from security services company Brink’s following the theft of $23.8 million in gold and cash from its facilities at Toronto’s Pearson airport earlier this year. However, the airline has responded, stating that it bears no responsibility for the daring heist.
In their statement of defense, Air Canada refuted all allegations made by Brink’s, emphasizing that the airline fulfilled its carriage contract and denying any flippant or inappropriate behavior. The country’s largest airline went on to mention an important detail—Brink’s failed to indicate the value of the cargo on the waybill, a document typically issued by a carrier to detail the contents of a shipment. Air Canada also highlights that if Brink’s incurred any losses, the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty, would limit the airline’s liability.
Court documents filed by Brink’s in the Federal Court stated breach of contract and claimed millions of dollars in damages. According to the company, an unidentified individual gained access to Air Canada’s cargo warehouse approximately 40 minutes after an Air Canada flight from Zurich had landed at Pearson. The thief, armed with fake paperwork, managed to obtain 400 kilograms of gold in the form of 24 bars, currently valued at about $21.1 million, as well as nearly US$2 million in cash before making a swift exit.
Air Canada’s firm stance on the matter underscores the contractual obligations that govern the airline’s liability. While Brink’s seeks compensation for its significant losses, Air Canada asserts that it fulfilled its responsibilities in accordance with the agreed-upon terms. As the lawsuit progresses, the two parties will undoubtedly present their arguments in court.
What is the Montreal Convention?
The Montreal Convention is a multilateral treaty that establishes the liability of airlines in international air travel. It sets limits on compensation for damage or loss of cargo and injuries to passengers.
What is a waybill?
A waybill is a document issued by a transportation carrier, such as an airline, to detail the contents of a shipment. It serves as proof of contract and provides information about the origin, destination, and nature of the goods being transported.