Photo: Qatar Airways
Article Produced Alongside with Tomos Howells

LONDON – The United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the blockade imposed on Qatar by the UAE was a clear case of discrimination against Qatari Nationals who have been unable to continue to study or return home to their families.

Qatar Airways has been struggling with the blockade having to reduce flights during the first few weeks of the sanctions.

However, this has not stopped the airline from continuing to grow to reach its 250 destinations by 2022 target, with recent expansions into Cardiff and Göthenburg being their recent achievements.

The ICJ ruling will in no doubt be great news for Qatar Airways as there may be an end in sight for this blockade.

Akbar Al Baker has taken many opportunities in the past to protest the innocence of not just the airline but his country as well, saying that it was an “illegal blockade”.

Tom Cadman, an international human rights lawyer, described the ICJ ruling as “a breakthrough for Qatar”.

Airways reached out to Qatar Airways for comment but did not get back to us in time of the article publishing.

Re-Opening The Airspace

The ICJ has ruled that the UAE must allow Qatari Nationals to return home and for its citizens to be able to finish any studies they had begun prior to the blockade being enforced.

During this year-long spat, the airspaces from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt have been closed to Qatar-registered airplanes.

While the results stated by the UN aren’t directly linked to the airline industry, it will be good news for Qatar Airways as this could now pave the way for the entire removal of the blockade.

The State of Qatar will now be pushing for this complete withdrawal of sanctions, due to the significant level of disruption caused over the past 12-18 months.

If the blockade can be removed after additional pressure from the ICJ, then Qatar can place a focus on their growth before the 2022 World Cup.

Moreover, the lifting of these sanctions will allow Qatari nationals to travel to/from neighboring UAE countries with ease.

The ruling by the ICJ dictates that the UAE “must refrain from any further action that will extend the dispute, or make it difficult to resolve.”