Qatar Airways filed a lawsuit in London High Court this week against Airbus seeking a solution to the accelerated paint degradation of part of its A350 jets.
The airline and planemaker had tried to reach an agreement on the issue in recent months, but had been unsuccessful.
Qatar, however, has come to regard the problem as a security risk, reinforced by the country’s aviation agency, which grounded 21 aircraft, prompting protests from Airbus.
For the manufacturer, the degradation of the anti-lightning coating is an isolated phenomenon and does not affect the widebody’s operation. Airbus had already spoken out over a legal dispute weeks ago, anticipating an expected move by Qatar.
“We have sadly failed in all our attempts to reach a constructive solution with an Airbus in relation to the accelerated surface degradation condition adversely impacting the Airbus A350 aircraft. Qatar Airways has therefore been left with no alternative but to seek a rapid resolution of this dispute via the courts,” said the carrier.
A dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways over paint and surface flaws on A350 jets stretches beyond the Gulf, with at least five other airlines raising concerns since the high-tech model entered service https://t.co/u9LkhH6ucR 1/6 pic.twitter.com/lnx54Kuggf— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) November 29, 2021
We strongly believe that Airbus must undertake a thorough investigation of this condition to conclusively establish its full root cause. Without a proper understanding of the root cause of the condition, it is not possible for Qatar Airways to establish whether any proposed repair solution will rectify the underlying condition,” added the company.
Hours later, Airbus confirmed receipt of the legal claim. “Airbus received a formal legal claim in the English courts filed by Qatar Airways, relating to a dispute over the degradation of a surface and paint on a certain A350XWB aircraft. Airbus is in the process of analyzing the contents of the claim. Airbus intends to vigorously defend its position,” said the airframer.