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Qatar Airways refutes Airbus $220 million contract breach claim

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According to court documents obtained by Bloomberg, Qatar Airways has denied charges that it owes Airbus $220 million in damages. When it declined to accept delivery of two A350 planes, the airline argued it had not broken its contract with the planemaker.

Airbus filed a claim at the Technology and Construction Court of the British High Court of Justice in February 2022.

Qatar Airways and the European manufacturer are currently at odds over faults on the surface of A350s delivered to the airline.

The Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) grounded 13 Qatar Airways Airbus A350 aircraft in August 2021 due to premature fuselage surface deterioration. In December 2021, Qatar Airways filed a lawsuit against Airbus for the grounding, demanding more than $600 million in damages.

In retaliation, Airbus attempted to cancel a second deal with Qatar Airways for the delivery of 50 A321neo planes. The British court, however, stayed this ruling until the judge’s decision in April 2022.

Other A350 operators, including Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, and Air France, had reported the problem to Qatar Airways, according to the court document. A Reuters investigation had already discovered this.

According to a private maintenance messaging board used by Airbus and A350 operators, Finnair had expressed worries about paint as early as 2016, and in October 2019, the damage had extended below the anti-lightning mesh.

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