Qatar Airways is seeking at least $5 billion as compensation from four nations in the Middle East and North African region for blocking the carrier from using their airspace, the media reported.
The carrier has launched an international arbitration against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
The four nations banned Qatar Airways back in June 2017 when they cut all ties with Qatar and imposed an air, land and sea blockade on it over accusations of supporting terrorism.
Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways chief executive officer told the media, “The decision by the blockading states to prevent Qatar Airways from operating in their countries and flying over their airspace is a clear breach of civil aviation conventions and several binding agreements they are signatories to.”
“After more than three years of efforts to resolve the crisis amicably through dialogue yielded no results, we have taken the decision to issue Notices of Arbitration and pursue all legal remedies to protect our rights and secure full compensation for the violations. 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.
Qatar Airways also announced its plans to reshuffle its fleet and also retire the Boeing 777 aircraft by 2024 which are a backbone of its fleet. The 777s will be replaced with the newer, bigger 777 models that are known collectively as 777X.
According to Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker, the decision is part of a strategy to cut emissions.