The long-haul carrier Qatar Airways announced on Wednesday that it had launched an international arbitration aiming to obtain from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt at least 4.3 billion dollars. euros. The company accuses these nations of having banned their airspace since 2017.
The Doha-based carrier did not specify where it had initiated international arbitration.
“The decision of states to prevent Qatar Airways from operating in their country and overflying their airspace is a flagrant violation of civil aviation conventions and several binding agreements to which they are signatories,” said the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar al-Baker
The four Arab countries severed relations with Qatar in 2017 in a political dispute fueled in part by Doha’s support for Islamist groups they consider terrorists.
International Court of Justice rules in favor of Qatar
They also launched an economic boycott, preventing Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing the small country’s only land border with Saudi Arabia and preventing its ships from using their ports.
Efforts to end the crisis, mediated by the 91-year-old Kuwaiti Emir, now hospitalized, have so far failed.
A few days ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the United Nations, ruled in favor of Qatar, ruling that the countries which impose this blockade can be brought to justice.
The Gulf emirate had notably asked the United Nations agency to obtain the reopening to the country’s airlines of Gulf air corridors which were closed to it due to the open diplomatic crisis with its neighbors.