Menzies wins more than $26mn in damages following Afghanistan dispute

I am delighted that justice has finally been served: Hassan El-Houry, Chairman, Menzies Aviation

Menzies wins more than $26mn in damages following Afghanistan dispute

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Tribunal in London has ruled in favour of Menzies Aviation, the world's largest aviation services company, following the illegal termination of its subsidiary's aviation services concession by the Government of Afghanistan in 2020.

"As a result, the Tribunal has awarded NAS Afghanistan (NAS) (now part of the Menzies Aviation group) damages and compensation of around $26 million plus interest," says an official release.

NAS had been providing ground services at Kabul, Kandahar and Herat international airports in Afghanistan since 2013 by virtue of a contract awarded following an open tender process, the release said. "At all times, NAS fulfilled its contractual obligations having invested more than $7 million, bringing in state-of-the-art systems and equipment thus significantly raising the operating standards and service levels within each airport of operation."

In October 2019, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ariana Afghan Airlines and the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, without justification, expropriated NAS' operations in Afghanistan and replaced it with a new operator following totally unsubstantiated allegations, the release said. "They took active and hostile steps to force NAS to surrender its assets and personnel including the sudden imposition of a travel ban on NAS' expatriate employees."

NAS suffered considerable losses and therefore sought retribution as available under the legally binding contract entered into by all parties, the release said, including arbitration proceedings before the ICC.

"I am delighted that justice has finally been served," says Hassan El-Houry, Chairman, Menzies Aviation. "Under the Presidency of Mr Ghani, the Government of Afghanistan illegally terminated NAS' contract, expropriated our assets and staff, and took our management team hostage. Governments are not above the law, and we will always take the necessary steps to protect our staff and business interests."

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