Debevoise Represents Qatar Airways in Multibillion-Dollar Investment Arbitrations

27 July 2020

Qatar Airways has launched four investment arbitrations against the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt

Qatar Airways, being the flag carrier of the State of Qatar, has filed four international investment arbitrations against the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt (the “Four States”). 

In June 2017, the Four States suddenly and without warning, imposed a series of unlawful measures, which included closing their airspace and airports to Qatar Airways’ aircraft and revoking Qatar Airways’ licenses and permits to operate in the Four States.  These measures effectively destroyed the value of Qatar Airways’ investments and adversely impacted its global network of operations.  Qatar Airways now rightfully seeks full compensation of at least US$ 5 billion for the Four States’ measures under three separate treaties, namely the OIC Investment Agreement, the Arab Investment Agreement and the bilateral investment treaty between the State of Qatar and Egypt.  This amount is the minimum value of the adverse impact suffered by the airline.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP partner David W. Rivkin, who leads the representation of Qatar Airways in these arbitrations, states, “The Four States’ actions are setting a dangerous precedent by seeking to undermine the rule of law and the international legal regime that governs the shared use of airspace.  Qatar Airways will pursue all available legal remedies to protect its rights and to secure full compensation in-order to rectify these unlawful acts.”

The full text of Qatar Airways’ press release can be found here.