Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus has won a stage victory in court against the foreign ministry for banning the company from operating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
For the time being, Pilatus does not have to recall its employees employed in Saudi Arabia and the UAE who support training aircraft. The Federal Administrative Court has granted suspensive effect to an appeal by the aircraft manufacturer.
Pilatus had said the ban, announced at the end of June, was incomprehensible, damaging and disproportionate as it set a deadline of 90 days to end all support activities in the two Gulf countries.
The company challenged the foreign ministry’s decision, saying it wanted the legal security necessary to compete in the market.
Pilatus also slammed Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis for refusing to consider its arguments.
The chairman of the board, Oscar Schwenk, said the company had done nothing illegal. However, the foreign ministry argued that Pilatus’s business activities with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, providing technical support and spare parts for the fleet of 55 PC-21 military training aircraft, was in violation of the law. The services amounted to logistical support of armed forces, according to the ministry. (end of excerpt)
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 26, the Directorate of Political Affairs at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) issued a ban on services provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, based on the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA).
This required the company to withdraw its employees.
The Directorate also filed a report with the Office of the Attorney General as it considered that Pilatus had not followed regulations, opening the way for possible prosecution.)