Qatar Airways files $600m legal claim Carriers win Saudi licences

DUBAI, Dec 29, (Agencies): Qatar Airways is filing a $600 million legal claim against a contractor for a delay in opening a new international airport in the emirate’s capital, Doha, it said in a press release on Saturday.
Lindner Depa Interiors, a German-Dubai joint venture, holds a $250 million contract to build 19 airport lounges by the middle of 2012, said Qatar Airways, which will operate the new airport.
The $15.5 billion airport will be the hub for an airline that has grown to a fleet of 116 aircraft since its launch 15 years ago. The new airport was scheduled to open this month but is now expected to start operations in late 2013, the airline said in the release.

It said Doha’s existing airport had reached capacity and the delay in moving to a new facility was hindering the company’s expansion plans. LDI is a joint venture between Lindner Group and Depa United Group.

Also:
JEDDAH: The Saudi aviation authority has awarded Qatar Airways and Bahrain’s Gulf Air licences to operate domestic flights in the vast desert kingdom. The national carriers of the two neighbouring Gulf states will be the first foreign airlines to operate domestic flights in the oil-rich nation, competing mainly with the government-owned Saudia and budget carrier NAS.
“The best bids came from Gulf Air and its partners, and Qatar Airways,” the General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement late on Friday.
It said 14 companies had competed for the licences, adding that the decision took into consideration the accumulated experience of the companies in air transport, as well as operational efficiency and financial solvency.
Saudi Arabia stretches over 2.149 million square kilometres (0.85 million square miles) of mainly desert covering most of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a population of more than 27 million, including around 8.5 million foreigners.
It has four international airports and 22 domestic airports.

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