UPDATE 1-Qatar Airways files $600 mln claim over new airport

Reuters Middle East

(Adds Depa response)

DUBAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways said it was filing a

$600 million legal claim against a contractor for a delay in

opening a new international airport in Doha.

Lindner Depa Interiors, a German-Dubai joint venture

, holds a $250 million contract to build 19 airport

lounges by the middle of 2012, Qatar Airways said in a statement

on Saturday.

In a statement later in the day, LDI said it had not

received a legal claim from Qatar Airways and described the

carrier's allegations as "false and misleading".

It said it was not able to meet its original completion

deadline because it was denied full access to the project site

for the first nine months of a 16-month contract.

LDI also said it had no contractual relationship with Qatar

Airways and that it was in arbitration with its client on the

project, New Doha International Airport. Qatar Airways will run

the airport when it becomes operational.

The $15.5 billion airport in the Qatari capital will be the

hub for the airline, which has grown to a fleet of 116 aircraft

since its launch 15 years ago. The new airport was scheduled to

open this month but is now expected to start operating in late

2013, Qatar Airways said.

It said Doha's existing airport had reached capacity and the

delay in moving to a new facility was hindering the company's

expansion plans.

LDI is a joint venture between Lindner Group and Depa United


(Reporting By Praveen Menon; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing

by Robert Birsel and Jane Baird)

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