Dispute with Qatar Airways
Airbus refuses 50 ordered jets
01/21/2022 12:23 p.m
Qatar Airways is one of Airbus’ most important customers. But since a lawsuit about damage to the paintwork, the aircraft manufacturer has been in a clinch with the airline. In the dispute, Airbus is now terminating an important contract.
The dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways is entering a new round. The aircraft manufacturer announced the airline an order for its new A321neo jet, which is currently difficult to obtain, as confirmed by Airbus. With the refusal to deliver 50 jets ordered, Airbus is also defending itself out of court against one of its most important customers. The news of the Airbus share hit the stock market, it fell by almost 1.7 percent shortly after the start of trading in the morning.
In December, Qatar Airways filed a lawsuit against Airbus in the High Court in London over damage to the paintwork on its A350 wide-body jet. The aircraft manufacturer is now in turn accusing the state airline of having enforced a local landing ban for 21 A350 jets in its possession from the authorities of the Arab Emirate of Qatar in order to give emphasis to claims for damages for the alleged surface defects.
However, there is “no reasonable basis” for the landing ban, according to Airbus documents in preparation for a hearing before the court. Rather, Qatar Airways initiated or tolerated the landing ban because, given the demand impacted by the pandemic, it was in its economic interest to keep the planes on the ground, Airbus claimed.
Qatar Airways had taken some of its more than 50 A350 series machines out of service because of the reported problems with the surface coating. The acceptance of ordered jets was already suspended in June. Airbus program manager Philippe Mhun, on the other hand, had emphasized that the problems were not safety-related.