[QODLink]
Middle East
Iraqi Airways flies into Kuwait row
Airline drops flights to London and Sweden amid war reparations dispute with Kuwait.
Last Modified: 26 May 2010 10:58 GMT
Iraqi Airways could be dissolved as a result of the dispute with Kuwait over reparations [EPA] 

Iraqi Airways has dropped flights to some European destinations amid an intensifying row with Kuwait over war reparations that could see the airline dissolve.

Iraq's transport minister said on Tuesday that the government was considering declaring the airline bankrupt to end a bitter dispute over billions of dollars worth of aviation equipment seized by Saddam Hussein's troops during the 1990-91 invasion of Kuwait.  

Amer Abdul-Jabbar said that the airline had cancelled routes to the UK, Sweden and Germany because Kuwait was preventing it from operating properly at these destinations.

Last month, Iraq's national flag-carrier flew to London for the first time in 20 years. But a lawyer acting for the Kuwaiti government tried to seize the plane when it landed after a British court had issued an order to freeze the assets of the airline.

The director-general of Iraqi Airways had his passport seized by the British high court, which ruled that the airline must declare its assets. He was later allowed to leave Britain.

Escalating dispute

Abdul-Jabbar said the Kuwaiti government had been escalating the Iraqi Airways row in recent days.

"Our planes that land in Sweden, London and Germany, they are blocking supplying them with food, fuel and water," he said. "We have stopped our flights."

He said that the Iraqi cabinet was considering declaring Iraqi Airways bankrupt. "If we announce the bankruptcy of our airline what will the Kuwaitis get? We can establish another airline company and put an end to this case. With this, the Kuwaitis will get nothing."

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Baghdad, said that Iraq had been making reparation payments for some time.

"For years Iraq has had to pay 5 per cent of its oil income into a special UN fund. The government would like the government of Kuwait to write off the debt and forgive the past." 

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list