10 JANUARY 2022
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Qatar Airways has started proceedings in a UK court against Airbus in a bid to resolve a dispute over skin flaws on a batch of 20 A350 aircraft now grounded.
The potential expensive hearing revolves around blistered paint and corrosion to a sub-layer of lightning protection, which Qatar Airways says has now led to the grounding of the aircraft. A further 34 earlier A350 aircraft are operational.
Airbus insists the carbon-composite passenger jets are safe to fly despite some "surface degradation," while Qatar Airways says it is too early to say whether safety has been compromised.
Airbus has accused the Gulf airline of misrepresenting the problem as a safety issue and threatened to call for an independent legal assessment.
Qatar Airways has issued a statement saying it has taken its complaint against Airbus to the High Court in London.
"We have sadly failed in all our attempts to reach a constructive solution with Airbus in relation to the accelerated surface degradation condition adversely impacting the Airbus A350 aircraft," it said in a statement. "Qatar Airways has therefore been left with no alternative but to seek a rapid resolution of this dispute via the courts."
Airbus confirmed it has received a formal legal claim. "Airbus intends to vigorously defend its position," it said.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Eric Styles, London
When is this likely to come to court? And why London? Maybe Akbar does not trust the French legal system.