A British court has ruled that Airbus can continue to deliver its A350 aircraft to the Qatari carrier, despite the fact that a multi-million dollar litigation over the quality of the plane's paintwork continues in the courts.
Qatar Airways ordered from Airbus has 20 of the latest A350-1000s and they are yet to be assembled and delivered. Lawyers acting on behalf of a Doha-based airline are seeking termination of a contract due to defects found on existing aircraft.
However, the petition of the “Qatari” rejected, and now the aerospace giant has the right to deliver as soon as it completes the assembly of the next aircraft. In the event that Qatar Airways refuses the A350, Airbus will issue a penalty invoice for default and resell the aircraft to another airline.
Airbus has already managed to sell the Turkish Airlines A350, intended for the Russian Aeroflot, is next in line signed deal with Air India — its new management has not yet given a positive response to the old contracts.
Qatar Airways lost yet another battle with Airbus last month over the fate of another — for 50 A321neo narrow-body aircraft worth $6 billion. The same court upheld Airbus's right to cancel the order on the grounds that Qatar Airways was violating a parallel contract by refusing to buy back the ordered and signed A350s.
Recall the beginning of the story. Qatar Airways has taken legal action against Airbus after a dispute over the airworthiness of the A350 caused the airline to land 21 A350s for safety reasons. : The paint is cracking, blistering and peeling off the composite body. On some aircraft, the damage to the paint is so severe that a special lightning protection mesh was exposed, with all the consequences.
Airbus insists that the problem is purely cosmetic and there is no reason to refuse flights. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which certifies the A350, agrees with Airbus's assessment, but on the other hand requires airlines to keep an eye on this issue.
Qatar Airways filed a lawsuit after Airbus failed to admitted his mistake. And last week, the court once again rejected the airline's demand for the manufacturer to conduct a deeper analysis of the paint defect. The next possible trial date may not be until summer 2023 at the earliest.