Pilatus staff can continue to work in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Pilatus staff at work in Stans, central Switzerland Keystone

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). 

This content was published on September 19, 2019 - 11:47

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. 

Saudi Arabia has been involved in the military conflict in neighbouring Yemen since 2015.

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