‘Very favourable outcome’: al-Baker on ICJ judgment
July 15 2020 10:02 PM
Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker has termed as “a very favourable outcome” the judgment of the International Court of Justice affirming that the ICAO Council has the jurisdiction to hear any disagreement relating to the interpretation and implementation of the Chicago Convention 1944 and the International Air Services Transit Agreement.
Welcoming the judgment, he said in a message last evening: “I am very glad for my country for the outcome of the International Court of Justice. Preventing us from overflying these territories is contrary to the terms of the Chicago Convention. This is a very favourable outcome.”
“On the question of when I would be able to fly,” HE al-Baker said, “now the subject is with the ICAO. But what is important to note is that preventing us from overflying these territories is contrary to the terms of the Chicago Convention, which is signed and ratified by these blockading countries.
“The ruling of course was without dispute… going to be the outcome in our favour. We always expected this… and I have mentioned this in several interviews. We were always confident that we were right and blocking Qatar Airways from overflying the territories was against all international, civilised behaviour and legal privileges.”
HE al-Baker noted, “ICAO is a UN body that is responsible for safeguarding the international airspace and making sure that it is free by any obstruction from any airline that wants to operate over those territories. So, this is a very favourable outcome and I am delighted at that.”
Earlier, in a statement Qatar Airways said: “We look forward to observing the return of the State of Qatar to Montreal to urge the ICAO Council to condemn the illegal airspace blockade of it and take appropriate actions to require the four blockading States to comply with their obligations under international law in order to restore the normalcy of international civil aviation.
“In line with the ruling of the ICJ and the legal precedent allowing the State of Qatar to continue its case at ICAO against the blockading States, Qatar Airways will pursue its case for appropriate compensation of the financial injuries inflicted on Qatar Airways as a result of the illegal airspace blockade.”
The national carrier said, “The arbitrary and abusive measures that these four States have taken against us have devastated our carefully planned decades-long programme for investment and growth in those countries; they have arbitrarily prevented us from serving hundreds of thousands of passengers, and transporting tens of thousands of tonnes of cargo to and from each of these countries annually.
“At Qatar Airways, we firmly believe that travel is a right for all and that this world is all of ours to explore. Qatar Airways will pursue all available legal remedies to secure full compensation to protect our rights and the rights of our customers.”

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