Qatar Airways and Airbus A350 defects hearing to be held in April.

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A rare lawsuit involving a claim by Qatar Airways for more than $600 million in compensation from Airbus over flaws on the surface of A350 jets is set for an initial hearing in the week of April 26, people familiar with the matter said.

Barring a rapid settlement, experts say the dispute marks the first time in memory that a contractual and safety dispute between a planemaker and large airline threatens to come to open court, potentially airing technical and commercial decisions.

Airbus outstrips Boeing with 611 plane deliveries in 2021.

The date for a procedural hearing was set in a division of the High Court in London on Thursday.

Airbus said Thursday that it had revoked a separate contract for 50 A321 aircraft that Qatar Airways needs to open new routes, Reuters reported.

The move is expected to aggravate the dispute between the two companies.

Photo: Oliver Holzbauer/Wikipedia

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