Qatar Airways sues Airbus over A350 problems

Doha-based Qatar Airways has filed legal proceedings against Airbus at the High Court in London over a dispute relating to alleged fuselage surface degradation on some of the carrier’s A350 fleet. 

The airline said it had “failed in all our attempts to reach a constructive solution with Airbus” in relation to the accelerated degradation condition leaving it with “no alternative but to seek a rapid resolution of this dispute via the courts”. 

Qatar A350
The Doha-based operator has filed the legal proceedings against the Netherlands headquartered airframer in the High Court in London. Aviation Image Network/Bailey

Qatar says the condition has forced it to ground 21 examples of its 53-strong fleet of the type. 

“We strongly believe that Airbus must undertake a thorough investigation of this condition to conclusively establish its full root cause,” the carrier states. “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.” 

Earlier this month, an Airbus spokesperson told Key Aero that the company understands the root cause of the issue and the OEM is currently working with EASA – the European Union Aviation Safety Agency – and customers “in order to provide enhancements”. The Airbus representative also confirmed that “operators have the information to continue operation” and stressed that the airworthiness of the aircraft is not affected. 

Airbus confirmed it had received the formal legal filing and was “in the process of analysing the contents of the claim”. 

“Airbus intends to vigorously defend its position,” it added.