30 MAY 2022


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Article from BTNews 30 MAY 2022

Airbus v Qatar Airways - judgement *

Possibly with the World Cup in mind, Doha-based Qatar Airways says it is pleased with the judgement given in the London High Court last week, and seems to think it is ahead at half time.

“I am in absolutely no doubt that this case should be tried as soon as is practically possible”, said Judge David Walksman, granting Qatar Airways a speedy trial against Airbus. This could start from June next year and last for around three months.

“We entered into this process to secure an expedited trial and early disclosure from Airbus that will give us an insight into the true nature of surface degradation affecting the A350s. We are extremely pleased to have secured these in today’s judgement. We will finally be able assess the cause of the damage to our aircraft and the expedited trial will provide a swift resolution of this unprecedented dispute”, said Qatar Airways in a statement.

Qatar Airways stopped taking deliveries of A350 when Qatar’s aviation regulator found that a paint defect on the surface of the A350 was leaving lightning protection exposed.

While Airbus dismissed the defect as only aesthetic, the airline took it to court and sought $1bn in damages.

Qatar asked the judge to divide the trial into two parts to allow for an analysis of the surface damages, while it sought to block Airbus from both delivering the aircraft or try and sell them to other airlines.

The judge denied both these claims meaning that Airbus can continue with the A350 deliveries to Qatar Airways and seek payments or it could try and sell the rejected fleet to other potential buyers. In recent weeks Airbus has sought, and won, a court order to cancel a Qatar commitment for 50 Airbus A320 series aircraft. (See BTN 2 May Airbus v Qatar Airways – Continued.)

However, Qatar Airways appears to hope that the two parties can reach a settlement. “Every partnership has disputes and I just hope that this dispute can be resolved out of court”, Qatar Airways' CEO Akbar al-Baker said at a press conference in Doha on 26 May. And the feeling is shared by Airbus, which also said it was favouring “an amicable solution”.  Airbus will be at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Doha starting 20 June.  



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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

James Brief, Neasden

Can someone explain to me why this case has come up at the London court? Is it that Qatar does not trust the French courts to offer a fair judgement?