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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Qatar Airways Drags Airbus to Court Over A350 Issues

In what appears to be a high profile legal battle, Qatar Airways has dragged Airbus to a High Court in London over issues with the airline's fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft.

Qatar Airways legal action relates to the dispute the airline has been having with the European Aircraft Manufacturer over the degradation of surface and paint on some of its A350 aircraft. The issues were first reported four months ago.

In a statement, Qatar Airways said it has grounded 21 of its Airbus A350s due to “accelerated surface degradation” of the aircraft which the airline said is “adversely impacting” its operations.

Responding to Qatar Airways legal action, Airbus says it's in the process of analysing the contents of the claim, saying that it intends to "vigorously defend" its position as the defendant.

The aircraft manufacturer had previously said it would find a temporal solution to the surface degradation which would include repairs and repainting of the affected aircraft.

But responding to the Airbus's proposed solution, Qatar Airways said: “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.

“Qatar Airways’ number one priority remains the safety of its passengers and crew.”

While no other A350 operator has officially complained about the same A350 surface degradation issues, reports indicate that a number of other airlines may be experiencing the same issues.

With 34 A350-900s and 19 A350-1000s in its fleet, Qatar Airways is currently the world's second largest Airbus A350 operator, after Singapore Airlines. The Doha-based airline was the launch customer for the A350-900 in 2014, as well as the A350-1000 in 2018.

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