BREAKING: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350s citing “significant condition”

The Middle Eastern carrier said it will not take delivery of any more examples until the issue is resolved

Qatar Airways has revealed that following explicit instruction from the country’s regulator, it grounded 13 of its Airbus A350s. 

The flag carrier said in a statement, that after closely monitoring a “significant condition” across its fleet – involving the fuselage surface below the paint degrading at an accelerated rate – it has decided to remove the affected aircraft from service. 

The operator said the grounding would continue “until such time as the root cause can be established and a satisfactory solution made available to permanently correct the underlying condition”. 

Aviation Image Network/Bailey
Photo: Aviation Image Network/Bailey

The Doha-based firm has already started taking action to return its A330 fleet into service with immediate effect to offset some of the impact of the unavailable widebodies. 

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group chief executive, said: “With this latest development, we sincerely expect that Airbus treats this matter with the proper attention that it requires.  

“Qatar Airways will not accept anything other than aircraft that continue to offer its customers the highest possible standard of safety and the best travel experience that they deserve.  

Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory
Photo: Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

“[We] expect Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.” 

In a statement to Key.Aero, a spokesperson for Airbus, said: “As a leading aircraft manufacturer we are always in talks/working with our customers. Those talks we keep confidential. We have no further comment on our customer’s operations.”