Qatar has another defeat for Airbus in the courts

Carrier will have to accept the ordered A350s or pay cancellation fees. British court to resume examination of surface erosion case of just over 20 jets in June

Qatar Airways once again had its requests denied by the British Court regarding the controversy over the erosion of the surface of part of the A350 jets, from Airbus.

On Thursday, London Court Judge David Waksman denied the carrier the right to refuse delivery of other ordered A350s – the airline has refused to accept these aircraft but also does not want Airbus to pass them on to other customers.

However, the judge accepted the argument that the case needs to be resolved as soon as possible, on account of the public interest – this was one of Qatar Airways’ requests.

The decision makes it easier for Airbus to force Qatar to take delivery of the ordered jets or otherwise pay fines for terminating the contract. According to Reuters, the planemaker is expected to resell the rejected A350s to Air India.

Qatar has 53 A350 in its fleet

The British court is due to resume trial in June, but left it open to the two litigants to seek an out-of-court settlement in the meantime. “The costs for both sides are too high, in my opinion. There’s a lot of time being spent here,” Judge Waksman said.

Qatar Airways has one of the largest A350 fleets in the world, with 53 aircraft – 34 of the A350-900 variant and 19 of the larger A350-1000 variant. But 27 of them are currently out of order.

In January, Airbus responded to the customer by unilaterally terminating a contract to supply 50 A321neo jets. Qatar then closed a similar order with Boeing, but tried to prevent the cancellation of the deal with the European manufacturer in court, which denied the request.

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