Qatar Airways seeks more than $600 million in Airbus A350 dispute.
Qatar Airways is seeking more than $600 million in compensation from Airbus over surface flaws on A350 jetliners, according to a court document shedding new light on an escalating business feud worth $4 million a day.
The Gulf carrier is also asking British judges to order France-based Airbus not to attempt to deliver any more of the jets until what it describes as a design defect has been fixed, Reuters reported.
The two companies have been locked in a row for months over damage including blistered paint, cracked window frames or riveted areas and erosion of a layer of lightning protection.
Qatar Airways says its national regulator has ordered it to stop flying 21 out of its 53 A350 jets as problems appeared, prompting a bitter dispute with Airbus which has said that while it acknowledges technical problems, there is no safety issue.
Now, financial and technical details associated with the rare legal spat have emerged in a court filing at a High Court division in London, where Qatar Airways sued Airbus in December.
The Gulf airline is calling for $618 million in contractual compensation from Airbus over the partial grounding, plus $4 million for each day the 21 jets remain out of service.
The claim includes $76 million for one aircraft alone – a five-year-old A350 that was due to be re-painted in livery for the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar is hosting later this year.
That aircraft has been parked in France for a year needing 980 repair patches after the aborted paint job exposed gaps in the lightning shield, industry sources say.
The largest customer for Europe’s premier long-haul jet claims Airbus failed to provide a valid root-cause analysis.
The jets feature a layer of copper mesh under the paint to prevent lightning – which strikes planes on average once a year – from damaging the carbon-composite fuselage, which is lighter but less conductive than traditional metal.
Photo: Oliver Holzbauer/Wikipedia
Plataforma Informativa de Aviación Comercial líder en América Latina.