2023 Annual Review & Sustainability Report

Menzies Aviation awarded more than USD 26 million in damages following Afghanistan dispute


Menzies Aviation, the world’s largest aviation services company, is pleased to announce that an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Tribunal in London has ruled in its favour 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 USD plus interest.

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. At all times NAS fulfilled its contractual obligations having invested more than $7m, bringing in state-of-the-art systems and equipment thus significantly raising the operating standards and service levels within each airport of operation.

The quality of NAS’ services and operations was attested by the outstanding ratings and the many appreciation letters received from airline customers. This was further evidenced by NAS obtaining and maintaining major industry certificates, such as the ISAGO certificate, quality and safety certificates including ISO Quality Management System and Occupational Health and Safety, and de-icing certifications.  

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. 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.

Following these unjust actions, NAS suffered considerable losses and therefore sought retribution as available under the legally binding contract entered into by all parties. This involved arbitration proceedings before the ICC. Following a full arbitration process, the ICC found in favour of NAS and has awarded damages of around 26 million USD plus interest.

Hassan El-Houry, Chairman of Menzies Aviation, said: “I am delighted that justice has finally been served. 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.”