Doha-based Qatar Airways is reportedly halting Airbus A350 deliveries because the surface below the paint on certain A350s was degrading “at an accelerated rate”. The airline has also reportedly grounded some of its A350s until the quality issue is resolved.

"Qatar Airways continues to experience and has witnessed a condition in which the surface below the paint on some of its Airbus A350 aircraft has been degrading at an accelerated rate," a Qatar Airways spokesperson told Reuters on June 8, 2021, adding that the airline has grounded some of its Airbus A350s until the issue was resolved. 

Qatar Airways’ fleet of Airbus A350 XWB aircraft currently stands at 53, as per planespotters.net data. The Doha-based air carrier has 19 Airbus A350-1000s and 34 Airbus A350-900 aircraft with an average of 2.7 years. 

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways announced it would defer deliveries from both Airbus and Boeing. However, in January 2021, CEO Akbar Al Baker changed the tone and said the airline would “continue to take every single aircraft” that had been ordered. As of May 31, 2021, the Qatari airline is due to receive 23 Airbus A350-1000s.

Earlier in May 2021, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Al Baker said that a “serious issue”, without mentioning further details at the time, would affect aircraft deliveries if the problem was unresolved. “If we are not able to settle that serious issue we have with them, we will refuse to take any aircraft from them”. 

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Qatar Airways would reportedly stop taking deliveries from Airbus over the aircraft paint quality dispute.