Qatar Airways wants Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are to pay for damage caused by their blockade.
The decision on 5 June 2017 came as a complete surprise. Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar. They accused the small state to support terrorist and sectarian groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hamas or Daesh.
At the same time, the four countries closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft. Djibouti, Jordan, the Comoros, the Maldives, Mauritania, Senegal joined the blockade. The consequences for national carrier Qatar Airways were drastic. Not only is it no longer able to fly to important destinations in the boycotting countries, it has to take detours on most other routes as well.
Uno agreed with Qatar
Qatar complained to the Icao – successfully. But the four central blockade states did not want to take the blame and claimed that the International Civil Aviation Organization has no competence in the issue. But the United Nations International Court of Justice rejected the appeal on July, 14, thus proving Qatar right.
Qatar Airways is taking this as an opportunity to sue for damages. The airline is demanding a total of five billion dollars from Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The countries not only violated international conventions on civil aviation, but also «several binding agreements they have signed,» they write in a press release.
Three years without results
Among other things, the blockade states are violating the Organization for Islamic Cooperation’s Treaty on Investment or the Arab League’s Treaty on Investment. For this reason, so-called notices of initiation have been submitted to the arbitration boards. «After more than three years of efforts to find an amicable solution to the crisis have brought no results, we have decided to file a complaint», said Akbar AL Baker, head of Qatar Airways.