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Belgium releases Algerian plane

December 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

The Belgian authorities yesterday released an Algerian airliner that was held in Brussels on Friday over a legal dispute with Dutch aviation firm K’AIR BV, an incident which sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the Anadolu Agency reported an Algerian navigational source as saying.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The plane is scheduled to arrive later in Algeria.” He declined to comment on the details of the settlement, pointing out that it was reached after the Algerian authorities took action to release the airliner.

The Algerian and Belgian authorities did not comment on the incident.

Air Algerie released a statement on Friday saying that the Belgian authorities held one of its airliners at Brussels airport over a legal dispute with the Dutch company K’AIR BV despite the legal procedure taken by the Algerian airline.

The dispute is over the sale of 10 out-of-service Air Algerie airplanes to the Dutch company, a deal which was signed in 2008. However, the Dutch company’s inability to fulfil its financial obligations prompted the Algerian side to cancel the deal unilaterally and to bring the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration which ruled in favour of the Dutch side.

Algeria’s Al-Watan newspaper said that Air Algerie had to pay $2 million to the Dutch company to release its jet.

The Algerian foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday that it had called the Belgian and Dutch ambassadors to Algeria for consultations.

The Algerian ambassadors to Belgium and Holland were also recalled.

Algerian Minister of Transport Omar Gul said yesterday that his country will take legal action in the national and international courts.