Qatar Airways plane


Awatef bin Ali

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The decision of Qatar Airways to raise four requests for international arbitration in investment disputes against the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt has sparked widespread media interest, as international media and newspapers have considered that Qatar Airways’ demands for compensation of at least $ 5 billion from the blockading countries are considered a new step by The State of Qatar to recover its rights from the blockading countries in a legal way.

* Claims for compensation
A report in the British “Middle East Eye” website said that the decision to ask Qatar Airways for a compensation of $ 5 billion for the airspace blockade. It comes as a step forward, a week after the International Court of Justice sided with Qatar in its legal battle over the closure of airspace by four Arab countries.

qatar airways

The air embargo is part of a series of measures taken since June 2017 after the blockade of Doha was imposed. Qatar Airways has been subjected to a set of measures specifically targeting the airline, with the aim of closing its operations in the four countries, destroying the value of its investments and harming its global operations.

“The arbitration seeks to correct the embargo countries’ measures to remove Qatar Airways from its markets and prevent it from flying over its airspace,” the Qatar Airways said in a statement. Also, last week, the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Qatar in its legal dispute over restrictions on airspace, and confirmed that Doha could challenge the blockade before the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization.

For his part, a report published by Al-Monitor said that Qatar Airways is suing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates due to the closure of the airspace, as the leading Qatar Airways company is seeking to obtain billions of damages from the diplomatic crisis of 2017. The Qatar Airways is proceeding to prosecute its neighbors in the Gulf because of the closure of its airspace to the airline Which it considered a violation of international flight rules and caused illegal damage.

In 2017, the blockading countries closed the airspace to flights from Qatar. They also closed their land and sea borders with Qatar and cut diplomatic ties with Doha, among other measures. The report continued: Closing the airspace leads to longer flights and thus more costs. The Qatar Airways claim came after an international court ruling in favor of Doha.

This month, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agency had jurisdiction over the airspace dispute. Qatar raised the challenge of closing airspace to the organization, which regulates international air travel. In 2018, the International Civil Aviation Organization ruled that it had jurisdiction in the case – which Saudi Arabia and its allies had appealed – but the ICJ rejected this appeal.

Qatar Airways is an important international airline, and Doha is a strategic location for connected international flights. It is a unique airline amongst airlines in the Middle East, in that it continued regularly scheduled passenger flights throughout even during the coronary virus pandemic, and contributed to the transportation and evacuation of hundreds of thousands of stranded people around the world.

Business Traffic asserted that the continued blockade of the Qatari airspace by four of its neighbors resulted in direct losses of hundreds of millions of dollars to the national carrier, which makes the country legally demand compensation for the major losses incurred due to illegal measures, which is a clear violation of civil aviation agreements and many Among the binding agreements signed by the blockading countries. Requests for international arbitration in investment disputes are an established procedure for resolving cases between foreign investors and countries. The report added: Because of the siege measures taken by the quartet, the Qataris were expelled and deprived of continuing their studies and work until family visits. It also imposed a set of demands that contradict the sovereignty and independence of Doha, such as the closure of the Al-Jazeera channel and the determination of its foreign policy.