The Doha-based airline has been severely affected by the delayed airport opening – scheduled for last month – due to LDI ‘badly defaulting’ on its contract.
LDI had been awarded a US$250 million contract to build 19 airport lounges, work which should have been completed six months ago. The contract was terminated due to LDI defaulting, delaying the airport opening by up to 12 months.
Qatar Airways, the airport operator and main airline user of the facility, and other subsidiaries and entities incurred additional construction costs and losses estimated to amount to some US$600 million for lost revenue to the airline and its subsidiaries including Qatar Duty Free, and hampering expansion plans as the current airport is bursting at the seams with little room for growth.
LDI claimed it had no relationship nor contract with Qatar Airways and that the airline’s claims were false and misleading.
But Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker hit out saying that LDI was adding insult to injury by denying that its delay caused huge damages and that LDI should pay compensation for such damages.
“As the main user of the new airport, as the airport operator and as an airline contracting the services of many companies to work at the airport, Qatar Airways has every legal right to pursue compensation claims for the delayed opening of the New Doha International Airport,” said Al Baker.
“We had always planned to move to the new airport by the end of 2012 give or take a few months, but this is a serious delay that has badly impacted our operations.
“Lindner Depa has seriously defaulted and must take responsibility for their inactions and poor approach to the project that has had a terrible domino effect along the supply chain. This is not the first time that Lindner Depa has defaulted in Qatar using similar excuses.”
The US$15.5 billion state-of-the-art new airport is destined to be an iconic world-class facility that is expected to set high standards in excellence. Phase One of NDIA is slated to handle over 28 million passengers a year, with the capacity expected to more than double by the time the airport is fully operational in 2018.
The current Doha International Airport handles almost 20 million passengers a year, with over 80 per cent of the passenger traffic generated by Qatar Airways alone. Had it been completed on time, the new airport would have accommodated the rapid expansion of Qatar’s national airline.
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, currently operating 116 aircraft to 122 destinations worldwide with plans to fly over 170 aircraft to more than 170 destinations by the end of 2015.
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best Premium Service Airport for the second consecutive year in 2012. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. In October 2012, Qatar Airways became the first of the major Gulf carriers to officially announce plans to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com