Well, after two long years of legal battles between Qatar Airways and Airbus, the two companies have finally reached an agreement.
Qatar Airways Dispute With Airbus
Since 2021, Qatar Airways and Airbus were in a court battle over the condition of its Aobus A350s. The airline claimed that A350 surface degradation was occurring at an accelerated rate while Airbus claimed it was just a cosmetic issue.
Qatar Airways even released a video of the issue stating that the cracked paint and exposed copper mesh on the planes pose a safety risk, and cause the aircraft’s lightning protection system to be exposed and damaged.
As the legal dispute intensified, in June 2021, Qatar Airways decided not to take any more A350 deliveries until this issue has been solved. Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) has also grounded nearly 23 A350s until now. This sparked a temporary aircraft shortage and the airline had to lease Boeing B777s from Cathay Pacific or reactivate older A330s that were retired.
At the same time, Airbus did not see the severity of degraded paint does not affect aircraft airworthiness and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) backed the manufacturer. Airbus, in the end, terminated all Qatar Airways’ orders last year which included the A350s and A321s.
Qatar Airways And Airbus Reached An Amicable Settlement
As of February 1, 2023, both companies have reached an amicable and mutually agreeable settlement in relation to their legal dispute over A350 surface degradation and the grounding of A350 aircraft.
Qatar Airways released a press statement that a repair project is now underway and both parties look forward to getting these aircraft safely back in the air.
The details of the settlement are confidential and the parties will now proceed to discontinue their legal claims. The settlement agreement is not an admission of liability for either party.
This agreement will enable Qatar Airways and Airbus to move forward and work together as partners.
What’s Next Between Qatar Airways And Airbus
As the settlement are confidential, we still do not know any further information about the orders. Since Airbus terminated all the existing Qatar Airways orders, it is unclear whether the canceled orders will be reinstated or only the existing aircraft will be repaired.
When Airbus terminated Qatar Airways orders, the airline moved to order 25 Boeing B737 Max 10s. So this potentially shows a deal to purchase aircraft from Airbus is open. We will have to wait and see how the relationship between the two companies continues in the future.
The years-long legal settlement between Qatar Airways and Airbus has finally been over. On February 1, 2023, both companies reach an “Amicable” settlement over the A350 surface degradation.
And now, a repair project is underway on the 23 A350s parked at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Although the deal has been made, it is still unclear if Airbus will be delivering newer aircraft to Qatar Airways and that is something we would have to wait to see.