26 OCTOBER 2020
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Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker wound up a fine Airlines 2050 morning last Monday with some strong words on what he called “the illegal blockade” of his home country by some neighbouring states.
He had led off summarising the airline’s efforts to keep flying. “We expect to serve 125 destinations by the year end,” he said. He confirmed that the airline’s A380s were grounded pointing out that Qatar’s Qsuites “were better than most carriers’ First Class.”
Akbar Al Baker continued: “Of course, it would be remiss of me not to touch on the ongoing illegal air and sea blockade imposed on my home country.
While the illegal blockade has been ongoing for more than three years, we should never allow these illegal actions to be normalised.
Threats to the safety and normalcy of international civil aviation should never be an acceptable tool for political posturing − and the international community must not allow the current actions to set a precedent for using freedoms of navigation as a weapon to harm a country and its people.
In July this year, we welcomed the judgment of the International Court of Justice − affirming that the ICAO Council has the jurisdiction to hear any disagreement relating to the interpretation and implementation of the Chicago Convention 1944 and the International Air Services Transit Agreement.
We look forward to observing the return of the State of Qatar to Montreal to urge the ICAO Council to condemn the illegal airspace blockade − and take appropriate actions to require the four blockading States to comply with their obligations under international law in order to restore the normalcy of international civil aviation.
At Qatar Airways, we firmly believe that travel is a right for all and that this world is all of ours to explore.”
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