QATAR AIRWAYS: Settles with Airbus over A350 paint dispute
Airbus and Qatar Airways have announced an amicable resolution to their legal dispute over the A350 surface degradation and delivery schedule.
Qatar Airways has a long drawn out, nearly two-year battle with Airbus over external paint degradation on purchased A350, which it argued was unsafe and caused the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) to ban the airline from flying the Airbus model. Qatar refused to take delivery of any more Airbus planes until the paint issue was resolved.
Interestingly just before Qatar was due to provide proof of that ban in court, a mutually agreed, confidential agreement has been reached over the issue by Airbus and Qatar Airlines. So the long legal battle which saw the contract with Airbus to purchase A350s and A321neos cancelled by Airbus is finally over.
Expect Qatar Airways currently grounded A350s to be back in the air again soon.
When the Airbus contract got cancelled, Qatar ordered B737MAXs from Boeing. It will be interesting to see if that contract/option agreement stands.
This dispute has always felt it was about something else other than the paintwork. I expect that we will never know the full details, but it is good to see one of the world’s best airlines (Q Suites) playing nice again with one of the world’s premier aeroplane manufacturers. In a time when airlines are back in the air, eager to expand their fleets, routes and route frequencies, this settlement should make that possible for Qatar Airways.