A delegation comprising families of the Mangalore air crash victims met a top official of Air India on Monday here seeking an early settlement of their compensation claims.

President of the Mangalore Air Crash Victims' Families Association Mahammad Beary told The Hindu that the official – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) S. Chandrakumar – had promised that a team along with the Air India's advocate would soon visit Mangalore to settle the pending cases of payment of compensation. The accident occurred when an Air India Express plane from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport and plunged over a cliff into a wooded valley on May 22, 2010. Eight passengers survived miraculously though the plane burst into flames after the crash at 6.10 a.m. Chief Pilot, who ignored the pleas by co-pilot to go around instead of touching down, is believed to have caused the accident.

Mr. Beary said the CEO had stated that Air India was keen to settle the claims before the end of this month. Those who obtain compensation would not have to sign a statement saying that the compensation received is final. Thus the option of approaching the court and securing higher compensation would be open for them. This promise had been given earlier to a delegation of the association when it had met Aviation Minister Vyalara Ravi, Mr. Beary said.

The association had approached the Supreme Court on the grounds that the families of all the victims should get compensation as suggested in the Montreal Convention.

Mr. Beary said a request was made to the CEO that those who had taken compensation — 62 families in all — should get the benefit of obtaining more compensation if the Supreme Court decided in favour of the association. He said this demand had not been accepted immediately. However, the CEO had promised that this would be considered, Mr. Beary added.

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