Business & Economy

Qatar Airways demands $5 billion compensation for Arab blockade

Cairo, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Qatar Airways on Wednesday announced that it has launched four international investment arbitrations against Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain asking for $5 billion in compensation over an aerial blockade imposed by the countries since 2017.

The blockade bans the Qatari state-owned company from entering their airspace and operating on their territories.

“Qatar Airways is seeking a total of at least US$5 billion from the blockading states as compensation for their unlawful actions,” the company said in a statement.

The four countries severed ties with Qatar and imposed a commercial and transport blockade in June 2017, accusing Doha of interfering in their affairs and supporting terrorism.

The measures taken by the four countries “specifically targeted Qatar Airways, with the objective of shuttering Qatar Airways’ local operations, destroying the value of the airline’s investments and causing widespread damage to Qatar Airways’ global network of operations,” the statement ran.

According to Qatar Airways, which covers several routes between the Arab countries and connects them with Europe and Asia, the measures have had an impact not only on its operations in Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, but at a global level as well.

Akbar Al Baker, group CEO of Qatar Airways, said the airline has “taken the decision to issue notices of arbitration and pursue all legal remedies to protect our rights and secure full compensation for the violations” by the four countries.

 “The blockading states must be held accountable for their illegal actions in the aviation sector, which includes a failure to comply with their obligations under bilateral agreements, multilateral agreements and international law,” he added.

Last week, the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Qatar giving the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) jurisdiction to decide whether Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama have violated the rights of Qatari commercial aircrafts.

Qatar brought the case before ICAO, a United Nations agency, accusing the four countries of violating an agreement regulating the freedom of movement of commercial aircrafts, including those of the Qatar Airways company, in foreign airspace. EFE-EPA

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