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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 Airbus dispute solved

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.

Comments (31)

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  • James Harper says:

    Well, well. It was obvious from the first time in court that Qatar were on a loser and Airbus would win hands down. I guess it has taken time for the spoilt Al-Baker child to recognise that and so he has backed off to avoid humiliation.

    Given that Al-Baker has to be at war with somebody all the time – it was Boeing over the 789 which he was refusing to take delivery of just before he started on Airbus over the A350 I would imagine it must soon be Boeing’s turn, perhaps starting with the cancellation of the Max order, a plane the child never wanted and had previously dismissed as unsuitable for Qatar’s needs but which he ordered when Airbus (and not Al-Baker as stated above) cancelled the Qatar A21N order.

  • Sebastian says:

    Booked my first reward flights ever a few days ago – London to Tokyo in Qatar business with JAL business return (thanks to this site for all the point-collecting strategies)! Any opinions on the likelihood of the A350s with QSuite being reinstated on the Tokyo route by September?

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    Good write up of the case here

  • Koshy says:

    If you are a US or EU with a silver or gold tier, QR will offer free upgrades and better service. But if it’s an Asian platinum member, don’t expect any upgrades.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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