PARIS, France: In a dispute with Qatar Airways over damage to the painted surface of long-haul A350 jets, European plane-maker Airbus has revoked a contract for a fourth airplane, according to sources.
In a dispute over the impact of surface scars on the company’s planes, Airbus has insisted the aircraft are safe, but Qatar Airways stressed that there are unanswered questions over their airworthiness and has refused to take deliveries.
In May, a British judge rejected a bid by Qatar to force Airbus to stop delivering more A350s, meaning Airbus is free to attempt to trigger payment clauses as more planes are built. It can also try to sell A350s that Qatar has rejected to carriers, such as Air India, which industry sources say could step in as a buyer.
In late June, the fourth A350 was cancelled, which is expected to be reflected in first-half Airbus data out this week, while a fifth aircraft is due to reach the same stage by end-July, followed by a sixth later in the year.
Airbus said by refusing to take more A350s, the airline has broken its contract and is revoking orders for undelivered aircraft, while Qatar Airways claims Airbus is wrongly trying to offer new jets for delivery.
In the latest of a series of procedural hearings ahead of a full trial scheduled for June 2023, barring an unlikely out-of-court settlement, the two sides are due to meet in a London court this week.
- News Agencies