Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) seized (24-May-2011) multi-million-dollar funds in various Iraqi Airways’ (IAC) bank accounts in Amman, Jordan, following orders issued by the Jordanian Court on 10-May-2011. The interests of IAC in its office in Amman were seized on 22-May-2011. In co-ordinated enforcement proceedings, following permission granted earlier this year by the High Court to join the State of Iraq, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport to the proceedings, the High Court in London on 13-May-2011 issued a number of enforcement measures against shares and London bank accounts in the name of Trade Bank of Iraq, London accounts in the name of Rasheed Bank and against commercial property owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. All three parties were also joined to the action. These are the latest developments in Kuwait Airways Corporation’s legal fight to obtain compensation from IAC for the theft of its fleet and spare parts in the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. [more]
Kuwait Airways Corporation seizes funds in Iraqi Airways Company's bank accounts
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The UK’s Airports Commission, tasked with looking into the need for additional UK airport capacity, has reached an important provisional conclusion. On 7-Oct-2013, the Commission’s Chairman Sir Howard Davies said: “We will need some net additional runway capacity in the south east of England in the coming decades”. Relying only on existing runways would “produce a distinctly sub-optimal solution for passengers, connectivity and the economy”.
Meanwhile, campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion is seeking to launch a legal challenge to the Commission’s work. This is on the grounds that one of the Commission’s former members, ex-CEO of Manchester Airports Group Geoff Muirhead, who stepped down in Sep-2013, may have been able to influence it in MAG’s favour.
This illustrates one of the difficulties in making decisions about future airport capacity. Whatever its final recommendations in 2015, it will be impossible to reconcile the different views of national politicians, local politicians, airlines, airports, environmental campaigners and NIMBY-ism (‘not in my back yard’). Nevertheless, the UK’s future as a global aviation hub demands that a clear decision be taken.
CAA’s ‘final’ proposals for London airport prices may be trying to reconcile the irreconcilable
The UK CAA’s mind-numbingly long and complex review of airport charges at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted is almost complete. In the five-yearly process, the regulator consults with airports and airlines. It publishes proposals and amends proposals, trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.
Between 2007 and 2012, aeronautical income per passenger at Heathrow almost doubled; at Gatwick it rose by more than two thirds; and at Stansted it grew by 43%. They all beat the 14% increase in the UK’s Retail Price Index over this period. Airlines now want prices to fall, while airports seek further increases to pay for planned capital expenditure and to reward investors.
The usual result of the review is that neither side is pleased. After the publication on 3-Oct-2013 of the CAA’s ‘final’ proposals for price caps from 2014 to 2019, the usual result looks likely again at Heathrow. At Gatwick, the CAA might just find common ground between the two sides. At Stansted, it seems the regulator has been by-passed entirely. Final decisions are due in Jan-2014.