Qatar Airways has doubled down on a promise to sue the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, after its home state was handed a win at the ICJ last week.
Four separate international investment arbitrations will be levelled against the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, seeking redress over the blockade against Qatari aircraft since 2017.
In a statement released to the public on Wednesday, Qatar Airways said that it is seeking a total of at least US$5 billion from the four-nation bloc.
“For three decades, Qatar Airways made substantial investments in the four blockading countries in order to serve hundreds of thousands of passengers and to transport tens of thousands of tons of cargo to and from each of these countries annually,” said the airline.
Lawsuits will be brought under three separate treaties: the OIC Investment Agreement, the Arab Investment Agreement, and the bilateral investment treaty between the State of Qatar and Egypt.
Qatar Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said that the move followed “more than three years of efforts to resolve the crisis amicably”.
“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,” added Al Baker.
“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.”