Qatar Airways Legal Action Against Blockade, BA Retiring 747s
Qatar Airways Legal Action Against Blockade
An interesting update on the ongoing saga of Qatar Airways airspace blockade by the states of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudia Arabia and UAE alongside severing diplomatic ties since 2017. The move is politically motivated. These countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorists groups, in particular with connection to Iran. I always felt there was more to the agenda.
Qatar Airways has pursued legal action with ICAO arguing it was in violations of the Chicago Convention that guarantees rights to civil overflights. Following appeals by the states, the UN’s International Court Of Justice confirmed ICAO Council’s jurisdiction over the matter of the airspace ban.
The move resulted in significant disruptions, costs and re-routing of Qatar Airways flights to third countries. Adding thousands of hours of extra flight times. It seems Qatar is now proposing to claim damages against those states.
Rumours Confirmed: BA Retiring 747s
In other news, we now have an official statement from British Airways to confirm the airline is indeed retiring all 747 from its fleet with immediate affect.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect” A spokesman told the BBC
“It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic”
BA currently has 31 of the iconic jumbo planes in its fleet. It was the largest international operator of the aircraft variant having as much as 57 models at its peak. Only Japan Airlines operated more 747s, however, large numbers were only domestically configured.
While not surprising this is a sad moment for aviation. British airspace is now unlikely to be graced by a passenger version of the plane that was dubbed the Queen Of The Skies. Most airlines across the world have already retired these aircrafts. Only Lufthansa currently flies the latest variant of the 747-800 variant. How long even these newer models may fly would be all down to how the current epidemic unfolds.