The joint venture (JV) of Germany’s Lindner and Dubai-based Depa has initiated arbitration proceedings with the client on the the delayed New Doha International Airport (NDIA).

The case is under way in Paris at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The much-awaited airport, renamed Hamad International at the beginning of the year, was meant to start operations at the end of 2012. 

The facility’s launch was postponed partly due to an ongoing legal battle between Lindner Depa and national carrier Qatar Airways regarding the completion of 17 airport lounges.  

LDI’s contract with the airport was cancelled following an announcement on 20 June 2012 that the company’s performance bond and advance payment guarantee were pulled due to LCI refusing to accept new, non-favourable contract terms and conditions.

These terms included the dropping of extension-of-time claims and related costs of the “lengthy delays” to LDI’s works.

According to LDI, the company has not been able to start its interior contracting work on site as planned and was not able to meet the original contract completion date.

“We consider the termination of our contract to have been wholly unfounded and the subsequent lack of response by the New Doha International Airport has left Lindner Depa Interiors with no choice but to seek AED900m in compensation through international arbitration,” says Mohannad Sweid, Group CEO, Depa.

“We have spent significant time and effort over the last nine months to resolve this matter amicably with the NDIA but without success. We must protect the interests of our shareholders by seeking justice and are confident that the Tribunal will eventually find in our favour,” he adds.

The airport was rescheduled for a soft opening on 1 April 2013, when a number of low-cost airlines were meant to start using the new airport. The April launch was yet again postponed due to the civil defence department stating that Hamad International had not met newly introduced safety and security requirements.

Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority has yet to provide an accurate date for the new opening and the authority says the civil defence department is still conducting its inspection.

Speaking at a recent press conference in China, Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer, (CEO) Akbar al-Baker, said the airport would be operational in early 2014, according to local newspaper The Peninsula.