The Icelandic state and the aircraft rental company ALC were today will have to pay national aerodrome operator Isavia more than ISK 2.5 billion (USD 19,2 million, EUR 17 million, rates by CB Iceland on 22.12.21) for “criminal conduct” by a district court judge in the Reykjavík District Court in connection with a dispute over Isavia’s detention of an Airbus jet against the debts of the airline WOW air. RÚV reported, that the case will probably be appealed to the National Court and will probably be referred to the Supreme Court.
In 2019 Isavia grounded the plane in Keflavik and refused to hand it over unless ALC paid all of WOW’s debts, about 2 billion ISK (USD 15,3 million, EUR 13,6 million, rates by CB Iceland on 22.12.21).
ALC did not consider itself responsible for all of WOW’s debts and demanded that the plane be delivered. The dispute went to the District Court, the National Court and the Supreme Court, but in July two years ago a judge at the Reykjavík District Court came to the conclusion that ALC should have the plane delivered after paying all the debts that rested on the plane itself. He also saw no reason to suspend the legal effect of the ruling and the plane was therefore flown out of the country.
Isavia believed that with this the judge had deprived the company of security for two billion debt and therefore filed a claim for damages against the Icelandic state and the aircraft rental company ALC.
The Reykjavík District Court came to the conclusion this afternoon that the judgment of the judge at the Reykjavík District Court had been wrong. Among other things, he had disregarded the reasoning in the ruling of the National Court in the same case and stuck to the interpretation of a provision that “went against the interpretation of the National Court.”
The district court states that the conduct must be assessed by the judge. He had reached a wrong conclusion in a culpable manner and had shown culpable conduct when he did not agree to a claim that an appeal would suspend enforcement on the basis of the ruling.
The court finds that Isavia has thereby suffered damage for which the Icelandic state and ALC are responsible. The Icelandic state and ALC were therefore sentenced to pay Isavia 2.5 billion. All legal costs, 15 million, must be paid from the state treasury.