Depa JV rebuts Qatar airport delay claimsby Andy Sambidge on Jan 2, 2013
Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) has rebutted claims by Qatar Airways that it is responsible for major delays to the opening of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) project.
The contractor, a German Emirati joint venture construction company, accused the Gulf airline of making a "false and misleading representation of the facts".
LDI said it was "deeply disappointed" by the allegations made by Qatar Airways and rebutted all claims.
Qatar Airways said on Saturday it will file a $600m legal claim against LDI for causing a significant delay to the opening of the New Doha International Airport by up to a year.
But in a statement, LDI said it has never had a contract or relationship with Qatar Airways, nor has it received any legal claim from the airline.
LDI said it was currently in arbitration proceedings with the NDIA, with whom it was contracted to work.
"LDI was denied full access to the project site for the first nine months of the 16-month project. This delay, combined with NDIA’s refusal to pay acceleration costs recommended by its own management consultancy, meant LDI was unable to start all interior contracting work on site as planned. As a result, LDI was unable to meet its original contract completion date," it added.
LDI, which is a joint-venture between German-based Lindner group and UAE-based Depa, said it 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".
Qatar Airways said on Saturday that LDI had undertaken to complete the construction of 19 airport lounges by the summer of 2012 in a contract worth over $250m, but had failed to complete the project on time.
The $15.5bn airport was due to have opened this month but has now been put back to the second half of 2013.
Qatar Airways, set to be the airport operator, claimed LDI had "badly defaulted" with the delayed airport opening seriously affecting the airline’s expansion plans, causing huge revenue losses, increased construction costs and delay penalties, and more importantly, inconveniencing passengers.
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