Airbus And Qatar Airways Resolve A350 Dispute

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Airbus and Qatar Airways’ long-standing saga over surface defects with the A350 looks to have finally ended.

The pair, in recent days, announced they had settled what can only be described as a mammoth year-plus dispute. Per the agreement, Airbus will resume aircraft deliveries to the Doha-based airline.

Before the dispute, Qatar was an important customer for Airbus. However, with surface defects emerging and Airbus believing Qatar was crossing a line, that relationship fractured. At the same time, the A350 was front and centre. Ultimately, in addition, other aircraft were involved. As a result, Airbus terminated a contract for the A321 family of aircraft. However, now these orders have been reinstated.

The A321 order is interesting in itself. During the height of the saga, Qatar Airways ordered the 737 MAX once more. So this wasn’t the first time they’d placed commitments. However, with their A321 order reinstated, question marks will arrive over which way the plane-maker will go or if they’ll leverage their position with Boeing and commitment to the MAX family for other aircraft types applicable to their growth and expansion plans.

As part of the dispute coming to a close, Airbus will pay what is expected to be hundreds of millions. However, they did secure ways out of other claims. For example, the Airbus A350s that were grounded by the airline will eventually re-enter service. Interestingly enough, the statement released by the pair does not place either company in the wrong; instead, they’ll drop all legal proceedings and move forward once more as partners.

Reuters reports that deliveries of the planes will be delayed, but Qatar has asked to have the orders re-instated.

Daniel Fowkes
04 Feb 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 

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  1. Really happy news. It was much awaited. As wish to see Airbus A350 s in the sky with Qatar Airways logo.

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  2. I wonder if QR will cancel their MAX order and if they will order the A350F as the airline was interested in the program before their legal dispute.

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