Kuwait seizes Iraqi Airways funds in theft row

Kuwait carrier is seeking compensation for planes, parts stolen during Iraq invasion in 1990
Kuwait seizes Iraqi Airways funds in theft row
A man walks past an Iraqi Airways logo on June 3, 2010 in Baghdad as the national airlines employees protest the states decision to close them down in the face of a decades-old financial dispute with Kuwait. AFP PHOTO/ALI AL-SAADI (Photo credit should read ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)
By Joanne Bladd
Wed 25 May 2011 09:42 AM

Kuwait Airways Corp has seized multi-million dollars' worth of funds in Iraqi Airways (IAC) bank accounts in Amman, Jordan, a lawyer for Kuwait Airways said Tuesday.

The state-run airline “last week seized multi-million dollar funds in various Iraqi Airways bank accounts in Amman, following orders issued by the Jordanian Court on May 10, 2011,” Christopher Gooding of law firm Fasken Martineau said in an emailed statement.

Kuwait Airways is seeking $1.2bn in compensation from IAC for the theft of 10 aircraft and spare parts seized by Iraq during the first Gulf war in 1990.

Last year, the national Kuwaiti carrier won a UK court order to freeze IAC’s global assets, which followed a 2008 ruling for the airline against the State of Iraq that awarded the equivalent of $84m.

The dispute is the longest running commercial case in the history of the English courts.

Gooding told Arabian Business the airline is actively pursuing rulings against IAC in 15 different jurisdictions, including a number of European countries.

The airline said in April it would also look to seize oil assets owned by Iraq when a United Nations mandate offering international legal protection of the property expires on June 30.

The mandate aimed to protect Iraq’s oil and financial assets from billions of dollars in claims stemming back to the rule of Saddam Hussein.

In October last year, a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada opened the door to allow Kuwait Airways to seize new planes being built by Bombardier Aerospace for Iraq Airways.

Bombardier became involved in the dispute after Iraq awarded the Montreal manufacturer two contracts for 10 CRJ-900 regional jets, worth about $400m.

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.