Qatar Airways has issued legal proceedings against Airbus at the High Court in London in a dispute over the grounding of its fleet of A350 planes.
The Middle East carrier took 21 aircraft out of operation earlier this year, arguing paint on the fuselage was “degrading at an accelerated rate” and creating a safety concern.
Airbus countered, blaming the airline for an “ongoing mischaracterisation of non-structural surface degradation”.
The manufacturer said the surface paint-related findings have been thoroughly assessed by its own team and confirmed by the European Aviation Safety Agency as having “no airworthiness impact” on the A350.
It now looks like the dispute will be settled in court.
A statement from Qatar Airways said: “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.
“Qatar Airways has therefore been left with no alternative but to seek a rapid resolution of this dispute via the courts.”
The airline continued: “We strongly believe that Airbus must undertake a thorough investigation of this condition to conclusively establish its full root cause.
“Without a proper understanding of the root cause of the condition, it is not possible for Qatar Airways to establish whether any proposed repair solution will rectify the underlying condition.”
A brief statement from Airbus acknowledged the proceedings.
“Airbus received a formal legal claim in the English courts filed by Qatar Airways, relating to the dispute over the degradation of surface and paint on certain of Qatar Airways’ A350XWB aircraft.
“Airbus is in the process of analysing the contents of the claim.
“Airbus intends to vigorously defend its position,” it explained.