Qatar Airways refutes Airbus $220 million contract breach claim


Qatar Airways refuted claims it owes Airbus $220 million in damages, according to legal files seen by Bloomberg. The carrier claimed its contract with the planemaker was not breached when it refused to accept the delivery of two A350 aircraft. 

In February 2022, Airbus filed a claim at the Technology and Construction Court of the British High Court of Justice.  

The European manufacturer is currently embroiled in a dispute with Qatar Airways over flaws on the surface of A350s received by the airline. 

In August 2021, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) grounded 13 of Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 aircraft over the premature deterioration of the fuselage surface. Qatar Airways sued Airbus over the grounding in December 2021, seeking more than $600 million in compensation.  

In retaliation, Airbus attempted to terminate a separate contract to deliver 50 A321neo aircraft that Qatar Airways had on order. However, this decision was frozen by the British court, pending the judge’s decision iApril 2022. 

In the court filing, Qatar Airways stated that the issue was reported by other operators of the A350, such as Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Air France. This had already been identified by a Reuters investigation.  

A private maintenance message board used by Airbus and A350 operators showed that as early as 2016, Finnair had raised concerns over paint and in October 2019 reported that damage had spread below to the anti-lightning mesh. 

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