According to a court document, Qatar Airways seeks more than $600 million in compensation from Airbus for surface faults on Airbus A350 jetliners. The Gulf carrier is also seeking British judges to force France-based aircraft manufacturer to cease attempting to deliver any more of the planes until a design flaw is remedied.
For months, the two corporations have been at odds over damages on Airbus A350 jetliners such as blistered paint, fractured window frames or riveted regions, and the erosion of a lightning protective layer.
As a result of the damages, Qatar Airways says its national regulator has ordered it to halt flying 21 of its 53 Airbus A350 Jets. Airbus acknowledged the issue as a technical problem but confirmed that there was no safety issue.
Airbus failed to submit a valid root-cause study to Qatar Airways
Financial and technical details about the legal fight are now revealed in the court document in London’s High Court division, where Qatar Airways sued Airbus in December 2021.
According to the document, Qatar Airways is seeking $618 million in contractual compensation from Airbus for the partial grounding, plus an additional $4 million for each day the 21 planes are out of operation.
The claim includes $76 million for just one plane, a five-year-old Airbus A350 that was scheduled to be repainted in livery for the 2022 World Cup, Qatar will host later this year.
According to Qatar Airways, Airbus failed to submit a valid root-cause study.
The planes have a coating of copper mesh under the paint to keep lightning from damaging the carbon-composite fuselage, which is lighter but less conductive than traditional metal. Lightning strikes planes on average once a year.
Airbus has accused Qatar Airways, formerly one of its most prized customers, of attempting to portray the damage as a safety issue.
Qatar Airways, which had ordered 80 Airbus A350s, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Airbus vs Qatar Airways dispute, on the other hand, shows an unexpected breakdown in relations between two of aviation’s most influential characters.
Besides Qatar Airways, five other airlines had discovered surface defects. Qatar is the only country that has grounded some of the Airbus A350 jets. Airbus has formed an internal task group and began looking into a new anti-lightning design for future A350 planes.