Lindner Depa files $245m arbitration claim against New Doha International Airport

Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI), a joint venture between interior contractors Depa and Lindner, has filed an AED900m ($245m) international arbitration claim against New Doha International Airport (NDIA) for the termination of its contract last year.


The counter suit follows a $600m compensation claim launched by Qatar Airways in December last year that accused the airport interior contractor of failing to construct lounges at NDIA within schedule and causing a major delay by up to one year.


The latest arbitration proceeding has been initiated in the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France.


Depa CEO Mohannad Sweid said that the company considers the termination of its 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.


"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," Sweid added.


LDI was awarded the contract with the NDIA for the complete fit-out of 17 lounges at Doha's New Hamad Airport.


However, the deal was cancelled on 20 June 2012 when that the airport interior contractor's performance bond and advance payment guarantee were pulled due to its refusal to accept new contract terms and conditions that were unfavourable to the company.


The new conditions include dropping all extension-of-time claims and other related costs occurred due to lengthy delays to works caused by others and acceleration costs.


LDI said it had not been able to commence its interior contracting work on site as per the schedule as a result of these delays, and consequently, would not have been able to meet its original contract completion date.


LDI noted that the termination of the contract and the subsequent public comments made against LDI by Akbar Al Baker, head of the NDIA steering committee and CEO of Qatar Airlines, in December 2012 and April 2013 led to significant financial and reputational damage to the company.