Cracks found in Qatar A350 XWB only superficial, Airbus says

Ryan Fletcher

On January 3, 2021, Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 registered A7-ALL presented irregularities on its surface. The plane, ferried to Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland, had been stripped of its original paint as it was about to be repainted in a special livery to celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar. Work was carried out by the aviation painting company International Aerospace Coatings (IAC).

Sources initially said structural cracks found in the composite fuselage of the aircraft. However, Airbus denied that information, saying the issue was superficial and purely cosmetic.

“This is to do with the surface coating and not with any structural issue with the composites,” the manufacturer said in a statement to AeroTime News. “In agreement with Qatar Airways the aircraft will be flown to Toulouse for further inspection, as a precaution, and re-painting. There is no safety concern.”

The A350-900 was delivered in November 2016. On July 7, 2018, it was involved in an incident, when an AirAsia X A330 collided with it on the apron of Malé-Velana International Airport (MLE), Maldives.


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