Qatar Airways seeks compensation from blockading countries

Qatar Airways would pursue legal action and demand full compensation for financial damages it incurred due to the airspace blockade, the airline outlined in a statement on July 15, 2020. The bill would be sent to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, which have forbidden Qatari-registered aircraft from entering their airspaces in June 2017.

“The arbitrary and abusive measures that these four States have taken against us have devastated our carefully planned decades-long program for investment and growth in those countries; they have arbitrarily prevented us from serving hundreds of thousands of passengers, and transporting tens of thousands of tons of cargo to and from each of these countries annually,” Qatar Airways’ statement reads.

The airline’s statement came in response to the ruling by the International Court of Justice, which affirmed that the ICAO Council had the jurisdiction to hear the disagreement relating to the full blockade on Qatar. The decision is seen as favorable to Qatar’s interests. Following the ruling, both Qatar and blockading countries will now be able to defend their case before the ICAO Council.

Now that the jurisdiction of the ICAO has been established and that the complaints of Qatar have been taken into account, both parties will be able to defend their case. The United Arab Emirates already commented on the news, saying they would “now present their legal action to ICAO to defend their right to close their airspace to Qatari planes.”