Bloomberg reports that Iraqi Airways will appeal a court order to freeze its bank accounts in Jordan following a lawsuit by Kuwait Airways.
Karim al-Nuri, a spokesman for the Iraqi Minister of Transport, told the news agency:
“We are preparing to appeal the Jordanian court order. Our appeal is based on the fact that Iraqi Airways is a state company and thus enjoys immunity and cannot have its offices seized.”
The Iraqi national carrier’s offices in Amman were seized three day ago and assets of $1.5 million frozen after the May 10 order by a Jordanian court.
State-run Kuwait Airways is seeking $1.2 billion in compensation for 10 aircraft taken when Iraq, under the rule of former President Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Kuwait Airways won a British court order to freeze the Baghdad-based airline’s global assets on April 25 last year, the same day as an Iraqi Airways flight landed in London for the first time in 20 years and was impounded.
The Iraqi government decided in May of last year to dissolve Iraqi Airways within three years because of the legal battle with Kuwait. The airline has cancelled flights to Europe since last year but continues to fly to destinations in the Middle East.
Iraqi Airways is planning to pursue negotiations with Kuwaiti officials in order to find a solution to the conflict that would benefit both parties, al-Nuri said.
The Iraqi carrier is also still considering government plans to operate under a new company to avoid the legal dispute and compensation claims raised by Kuwait, he said. “We are considering some contracts with local and foreign companies, although there is nothing final for now,” he said.
Kuwait Airways “seized multi-million dollar funds in various Iraqi Airways bank accounts in Amman,” following the May 10 Jordanian court order, Kuwait Airways lawyer Christopher Gooding of law firm Fasken Martineau said.
Iraq State Minister and Government Spokesman, Ali Al Dabbagh, told Alsumarianews that he cannot allow Kuwaiti Airlines to act in a way that does not show any spirit of cooperation: “It seems that Kuwaiti Airlines want to complicate the crisis. However, Iraq will preserve its right fully.”
The Iraq Cabinet will take the appropriate decision in this regard, he added.
(Sources: Bloomberg, AlsumariaTV)