Qatar Airways and Airbus kiss and make up – the A350 fleet will return to the skies
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After years of legal wrangles, Qatar Airways and Airbus have decided to kiss and make up.
The airline will drop its legal case, currently running in the High Court in London, alleging faults on its Airbus A350 fleet.
In a short statement on Wednesday, the airline said:
Qatar Airways and Airbus are pleased to have reached an amicable and mutually agreeable settlement in relation to their legal dispute over A350 surface degradation and the grounding of A350 aircraft. A repair project is now underway and both parties look forward to getting these aircraft safely back in the air.
The details of the settlement are confidential and the parties will now proceed to discontinue their legal claims. The settlement agreement is not an admission of liability for either party.
This agreement will enable Qatar Airways and Airbus to move forward and work together as partners.
…. and that’s it.
This is good news for both sides.
Airbus had cancelled outstanding Qatar Airways orders for A350 aircraft and an order for 50 Airbus A321neo aircraft, which Qatar Airways was forced to replace with an order for 50 Boeing 737 MAX.
It appears that the A350 order will be reinstated and, more surprisingly, the A321neo order too. This presumably means that the 737 MAX order will be cancelled.
More importantly in the short term, Qatar Airways has 22 A350 aircraft which are currently grounded due to alleged paint damage. The statement suggests that these will soon be back in the air, in a huge capacity boost to the airline.
Luckily for both sides, it has been reported that a manufacturing change on the latest batch of A350 aircraft, designed primarily to reduce weight, has also solved the issue with paint peeling.