Air Canada says it bears no responsibility for the daring theft of $23.8 million in gold and cash from its facilities at Toronto's Pearson airport earlier this year.
The airline is facing a lawsuit from security services company Brink's after a thief walked away with the costly cargo at an Air Canada airport warehouse on April 17.
In a statement of defence, Air Canada rejected all allegations in the Brink's suit, saying it fulfilled its carriage contract and denying any careless or improper conduct.
The country's largest airline goes on to say that Brink's failed to note the value of the haul on the waybill — a document typically issued by a carrier with details of the shipment — and that if Brink's did suffer losses, a multilateral treaty known as the Montreal Convention would cap Air Canada's liability.
In Federal Court filings last month that claim breach of contract and millions of dollars in damages, Brink's said an unidentified individual gained access to the airline's cargo warehouse and presented phoney paperwork about 40 minutes after an Air Canada flight from Zurich landed at Pearson.
The statement of claim says staff then handed over 400 kilograms of gold in the form of 24 bars — currently worth about $21.1 million — plus nearly US$2 million in cash to the thief, who promptly absconded with the cargo.