Qatar Airways is seeking compensation of $ 618 million plus $ 4 million per day after founding 21 A350s due to safety issues.
Qatar Airways has been embroiled in a legal dispute with Europe’s Airbus manufacturer over months over “serious and legal safety issues” following the delivery of A350 jets.
Qatar’s state-owned airline is seeking compensation, saying the flawed planes forced it to ground 21 of its fleet of 53 Airbus A350s in both its 1000 and 900 range.
Here are some key facts:
How did the dispute start?
Qatar’s national airline has expressed concern over the condition of its A350s in November 2020 when an attempt to repaint a five-year-old jet in World Cup delivery revealed about 980 defects.
According to a Reuters news agency investigation, at least five other airlines, including Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France, expressed concern in 2016 – far ahead of Qatar Airways – but they did not base their aircraft.
France-based Airbus acknowledged the flaws needed attention while insisting they were cosmetic issues and not endangering safety.
Qatar Airways said Airbus had failed to provide a complete causal analysis needed to satisfy unresolved questions about the airworthiness of the affected jets, including the lightning protection system.
On December 20 last year, Qatar Airways sued Airbus in the UK. The case is due to be heard at the end of April.
What are the issues?
The airline’s complaint says the paint on the recently delivered Airbus A350s cracked and peeled off, exposing copper mesh used to insulate the aircraft from lightning bolts.
It has a published video Friday on social media of the damaged exterior of primed A350 jets.
The clip showed areas of peeling or missing paint, cracks and damage to lightning protection, as well as what the airline described as patches of carbon fiber exposed to moisture and potentially harmful ultraviolet light.
The lightweight carbon fiber jet aircraft relies on metal foil embedded under the paint to help lightning wash safely over the fuselage, which is less conductive than earlier metal.
The video showed flakes of the copper mesh lightning system, which was supposed to be attached to the plane with resin, come loose when the paint was teased away by a glove hand.
What does the airline demand?
Qatar Airways is demanding compensation of $ 618 million plus $ 4 million a day and has stopped receiving another 23 A350s.
His lawsuit set out how the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) had flight permits begin to withdraw for individual A350 aircraft in a series of letters from June 2021.
It said the QCAA told Airbus that the plane’s deterioration was “disturbing, if not worrying”.
Airbus said it would fight the claim, saying there was “no reasonable or rational basis” for the grounds, which did not happen elsewhere.
What is Airbus’ position?
Airbus says it is looking at changing the design of the anti-lightning rod for future A350s, but insists that there is adequate protection against lightning. It says Qatar Airways is undermining global protocols by seeking leverage over safety.
Airbus says it has provided the relevant information and concluded that there is no airworthiness risk, a view reflected by Europe’s air regulator.
Friday, Airbus $ 6 billion contract canceled with Qatar Airways for 50 of its new A321neo passenger planes, escalating the legal battle.