Qatar Airways calls Airbus’ defense of A350 problems a “fiction”

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Qatar Airways said Tuesday it will take its dispute with Airbus since last year over problems related to paint and surface deterioration on its A350 aircraft to court.

“Qatar Airways is ready to take this matter to court to ensure that its rights are protected, and that Airbus has to address an unprecedented, extremely unique and worrying defect affecting the A350 aircraft type,” the airline said in a statement posted on its website.

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It is a dispute dating back to last December over the alleged deterioration of the paintwork and erosion of the A350 fuselage protection layer, which the Qataris consider serious for the safety of the aircraft, EFE reported.

For its part, Airbus acknowledges that there is a problem, although it insists that it is not structural in nature and does not affect operability in any way, and it supports the position of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which has confirmed that the wear of the paint on the fuselage has no consequences for airworthiness.

Qatar Airways, one of Airbus’ most important customers, which had taken delivery of 53 A350s, last year sued Airbus before a London judge, claiming $618 million and an additional $4 million for each day the aircraft was grounded.

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The Qatari statement emphasized a “judgment handed down on May 25 by Justice Waksman of the High Court” in London, which concludes that “there is no simple solution to the problem.”

According to the release, the ruling also indicates that “the only remedy currently proposed, which is to patch the airframe of all aircraft extensively and potentially repeatedly from affected aircraft, addresses the symptoms, not the condition itself.”

The statement from the Qataris accuses the European manufacturer of giving “inaccurate information and communications,” and considers that this failure “exposes to everyone in the aviation industry the fiction of Airbus’ narrative that the condition affecting the Airbus A350s is a simple paint problem.”

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