Mon, May 27, 2002 - Page 3 News List

CAL outlines its plan for payouts

By Annabel Lue and Lee Ching-Huei  /  STAFF REPORTERS

China Airlines Co may decide to pay at least NT$10 million per person in compensation to families of passengers on flight CI611 that crashed into the sea on Saturday.

Taking all 225 people on board into account, the company is set to pay more than NT$2 billion.

The payment is calculated based on the NT$9.9 million per person China Airlines paid in 1998, when its Airbus A300-600 crashed near CKS International Airport, killing 182 passengers.

"This time the compensation we will offer will not go below NT$9.9 million or NT$10 million," said Charles Chen (陳玉治), a senior official at China Airlines.

Asked if that amount would go as high as the NT$14.6 million Singapore Airlines paid per passenger for its 2000 crash at CKS International Airport, Chen refused to comment.

But he did say that for all passengers the payment would be the same amount, regardless of their nationalities, Chen said.

There were nine passengers from China and five from Hong Kong aboard the plane.

The company formed a special team that met with families last night to discuss compensation details. Chen said the final decision on compensation will not be announced until the company has spent more time speaking with the families and insurance professionals.

He said it could take several weeks before an agreement is reached.

In the interim, China Airlines will give each family NT$100,000 per passenger.

Taiwan Fire & Marine Insurance Company Ltd (台灣產險) is China Airlines' major underwriter and will be responsible for about 25 percent of total compensation expenses.

Other local underwriters include Fubon Insurance Co (富邦產險), Central Insurance Co (中央產險), China Mariners' Assurance Corp (中國產險), Taian Insurance Co (泰安產險), Shinkong Insurance Co (新光產險) and the Mingtai Fire & Marine Insurance Co (明台產險).

Those firms will cover up to NT$460 million and US-based reinsurance firm, American International Group Inc, will cover any amount beyond that figure.

In addition to the compensation paid to passengers, the underwriters also have to spend about NT$860 million to cover the loss of the aircraft.

Meanwhile, several life insurance companies reported that some of their clients were on the plane.

Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) had 44 clients on board, and the company is set to pay at least NT$339 million.

Kuo Hua Life Insurance Co (國華人壽), the underwriter of China Airlines' crew, will have to spend more than NT$100 million to compensate the loss of 19 China Airlines staff.

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