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Friday, August 6, 2021

Qatar Airways halts Airbus deliveries due to ‘degrading surface’ issue

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The Qatar-based carrier officially stopped all incoming deliveries from Airbus A350 aircraft until the French company resolves the “serious” issue. 

Qatar Airways said on Tuesday it will halt deliveries by Airbus SE A350 jets after issues required urgent landing of some aircraft.

The airline said the surface below the paint of the twin-aisle planes has been quickly deteriorating, calling for the company to withhold planned delivery until the problem is seriously dealt with.

The Qatar-based airline previously warned that “serious” issues with the European planemaker may result in a decision to halt deliveries, without specifying the nature of the problem. 

Just days before the warning, the airline chief criticised Airbus’ giant A380 jets for their inefficiency and operational costs. 

Speaking to Reuters, an airline spokesperson said “Qatar Airways continues to experience and has witnessed a condition in which the surface below the paint on some of its Airbus A350 aircraft has been degrading at an accelerated rate.”

QA stopped some A350s for now “until the condition and root cause can be understood and corrected,” the spokesperson said, without revealing the number of aircrafts affected.

Read also: Qatar Airways escalates ‘mystery spat’ with Airbus

“Qatar Airways will require this condition and its underlying root cause to be fully understood and corrected before the delivery of any further Airbus A350 aircraft.”

No further information has yet been provided on the duration of the process or if the airline’s operations will be delayed or affected in any way.

“An Airbus spokesperson said the company was always in talks with its customers but that such talks were confidential,” Reuters reported. 

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker earlier urged the Airbus board to deal with the problem. 

The airline’s decision could immensely impact the France-based jet company as QA is considered the biggest client, taking 53 deliveries out of 76.

The two companies also have extensive business ties in civil and defence which could be at risk due to the dispute.

The four-year-old QA A350 has been in Toulouse since January to resolve a paint and finish problem. The airline then sent its jets to Ireland to be repainted in World Cup 2022 new livery.


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