Hostage victims of British Airways flight BA149

McCue Jury & Partners are proud to represent the passengers and crew of British Airways flight BA149, taken hostage by Iraqi armed forces at the outbreak of the First Gulf War.


These men and women are bringing a claim for damages for their pain and suffering resulting from the alleged decision by the British Government and British Airways to allow BA149 to land in Kuwait, despite knowing that Iraqi Armed Forces had already overrun the country.


Why would the Government and British Airways do this? Evidence demonstrates that BA149 was used to secretly transport a special ops team for immediate and covert deployment to the battlefield, regardless of the risk this posed to the civilians onboard.


On the evening of August 1 1990, BA149 departed from London Heathrow, heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a scheduled refuelling stop at Kuwait International Airport. While the flight was en route, the Iraqi Armed Forces invaded Kuwait. In the early hours of August 2 1990, upon landing for the planned refuelling, the crew and passengers of BA149 were taken hostage by Iraqi forces to be used as human shields against the Western military response. The hostages were held captive for up to five months and endured torture, rape, mock executions, and starvation during their ordeal.

Evidence obtained by the Claimants demonstrates that British Airways and the Government knew the invasion had taken place while BA149 was still in the air hours before its scheduled touchdown in Kuwait but did nothing to divert it.


It also demonstrates that BA149 was secretly carrying a special ops team, made up of former special forces and security services, known as The Increment, for covert military deployment into Kuwait.


For thirty years, the official position was that the Government did not know that the invasion had taken place while the flight was in the air. Evidence has only recently been revealed due to releases from the National Archives under the 30-year rule that this was a lie.

We were not treated as citizens but as expendable pawns for commercial and political gain. A victory over years of cover-up and bare-faced denial will help restore trust in our political and judicial process.

Barry Manners, Passenger, BA Flight 149

Our Clients

We are instructed by a group of individuals who fall into three categories:

  1. Passengers on board BA149
  2. Inbound BA crew members on board BA149
  3. Crew members who were already in Kuwait awaiting onward deployment 

We are representing Claimants of different nationalities residing all over the World. Each Claimant has their own story and suffered varying degrees of physical and/or psychiatric harm because of their treatment while held hostage by the Iraqi Armed Forces.


The Claimants are seeking damages for their injuries (both physical and psychiatric), special damages for their consequential losses, and aggravated and punitive damages due to the Government and British Airways alleged wrongdoing. Having been lied to for so many years, they are also seeking vindication of their rights and for the truth to be finally adjudicated in Court.

The lives and safety of innocent civilians were put at risk by the British government and British Airways for the sake of an off-the-books military operation. Both have, we believe, concealed and denied the truth for more than thirty years. The victims and survivors of Flight BA149 deserve justice for being treated as disposable collateral. HMG and BA watched on as children were paraded as human shields by a ruthless dictator, yet they did and admitted nothing. There must be closure and accountability to erase this shameful stain on the UK’s conscience.

Matthew Jury, Managing Partner, McCue Jury & Partners

Contact us

If you, or a family member who has since passed away, were involved in BA149, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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