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Lindner Depa refutes Qatar Airways claims

The airport is now expected to open in the second half of 2013

Gulf News

Dubai: A day after Qatar Airways said it would be filing a $600 million legal claim against German-Emirati joint venture construction company, Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI), for causing up to a year’s delay to the opening of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), LDI rebutted the claims in a statement posted on Nasdaq Dubai on Sunday.

“Lindner Depa Interiors today acknowledges Qatar Airways statement as a false and misleading representation of the facts around the New Doha International Airport project. LDI is deeply disappointed by the allegations made by Qatar Airways and rebuts all claims. Furthermore, LDI has never had a contract or relationship with Qatar Airways, nor has it received any legal claim from the airline,” the statement read.

The airport, which was due to have opened in December 2012, is now expected to open in the second half of 2013.

The Doha carrier, which is also the operator of the new $15.5 billion airport, on the other hand, said that LDI had undertaken to complete the construction of 19 airport lounges at NDIA by the summer of 2012 in a contract worth over $250 million, but failed to complete the project on time.

Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, in a statement on Saturday, cited “extreme poor performance” and LDI’s inability to execute the work within the specified time as the reasons for its contract being terminated, resulting in the legal action estimated at up to $600 million.

“We have been badly affected as an airline with the delay impacting Qatar Airways’ expansion plans that include new aircraft deliveries and opening up new routes at the rate we want to and more importantly causing a lot of inconvenience to our passengers in addition to the revenue losses to the airline and its subsidiaries,” he said, adding that further claims against LDI were expected from other entities affected by this delay.

LDI, meanwhile, said it was denied full access to the project site for the first nine months of the 16-month project. “LDI is seeking legal counsel as a result of the damage caused to its reputation based on the false and misleading information made in the Qatar Airways statement,” the construction company said in its statement.

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