It’s been a long time, but Airbus has finally resumed deliveries to Doha-based Qatar Airways following their lengthy dispute over aircraft.
You may recall the long-standing paint saga and surface defect case that meant the two were locked horns, and as a result, Airbus was not delivering aircraft to the airline, and the airline grounded the vast majority of its A350s.
This stretched on for years and was quoted as continuing long throughout this year by most until, on the 1st of February 2023, the pair released a joint statement saying that they had settled on the dispute. This saw a decision mutually agreed upon and done amicably.
With the settlement signed, the pair found ways to safely get the aircraft back in the sky, as they had been grounded. Additionally, there was an importance placed on getting deliveries to resume. After all, even though this dispute primarily occupied headlines for 18 months, it didn’t stretch to just the A350.
For a brief period, Airbus had terminated an existing contract for a smaller A321neo, and Qatar had switched to Boeing. So, therefore, it was essential that the pair worked out their differences and resumed deliveries.
Furthermore, Qatar is a hugely pivotal customer to the success of Airbus’ aircraft programs; with deliveries finally resuming, the pair can continue rebuilding their relationship, which many thought couldn’t be rebuilt.
A7-ANT, registered to Qatar Airways, is an A350-1000 and flew from Toulouse to Doha on Saturday, the 13th of May, with a flight time of 5 hours and 52 minutes, as per data collected by FlightRadar24.
This is the first delivery of an Airbus aircraft since December 2020.
While Airbus was still building aircraft and especially the A350, they weren’t delivering them to Airbus, which means incoming units would have been made and stored at the Airbus factory.
This isn’t uncommon to see, but in most cases, it’s not because parties are engaged in a dispute; rather, it may be due to supply chain issues or aircraft difficulties preventing deliveries from occurring on time, or most recently, even the global pandemic.