Dedication messages and well wishes displayed for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

(Bloomberg) — As the final hours of Malaysian Air Flight 370 remain wrapped in mystery, the question of who bears full liability for the jet’s disappearance is also unresolved.

This much is clear: Families of the 227 passengers aboard the flight that vanished on March 8 can recover some compensation from Malaysian Airline System Bhd even if the plane isn’t found. The airline is liable under international treaty for as much as $175,000 per passenger, and possibly more.

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