Air Algérie, the Algerian national airline has been ordered to pay back 1.5 billion Algerian Dinars (11.22 million Euros) 1 to the Canadian group SMI International, the International Court of Arbitration of Canada (ICC) has decided. The airline now has until Thursday to comply with the judgement and pay the requested amount, if not the airline may face its Airbus A330 aircraft being seized in Canada.
It’s not the first time that an Air Algérie aircraft was seized: in 2014 a Belgian court seized an aircraft at Brussels Airport, sparking a diplomatic row between Algeria, Belgium and The Netherlands. Finally Air Algérie paid a sum of € 2 million dollars to a Dutch company.
The dispute concerns the construction of the new Air Algérie headquarters located in Dar El Beida, just next to the old headquarters of Mobilis and worth an investment of €100 million. Back in 2013 Air Algérie canceled the contract with SMI for “non-performance, not completing the project on time and failure of the contractor”. In fact the Lebanese design office Khatib and Alami did not deliver the final version of the correct construction plans until March 2012, only one year from the expiration of the deadlines.
While SMI requested an extension of the deadline and asked Air Algérie to pay €17.8 million for unpaid work and materials, the latter unilaterally decided to end the contract.
Air Algérie, already weakened by the economic situation of the country, may now face its new Airbus A330 being seized in Canada.
1 XE Currency converter: 1,500,000,000 DZD =11,223,741.80 EUR