Airbus has hit back at Qatar Airways with a $220m lawsuit alleging damages over two undelivered planes.
According to an Airbus spokesperson the counter-claim was a “last resort and followed many fruitless attempts to find mutually beneficial solutions.” Court documents have revealed that Airbus is also seeking to get back millions of dollars given in credit to Qatar Airways.
Airbus’s claim is the latest in a months’ old feud between the plane manufacturer and the Qatari airline, started when the carrier decided to take Airbus to a court in the UK for $600m over surface damages after it was forced to ground its A350 fleet.
After a back and forth between the two parties – where Airbus denied the damages constituted a security issues – earlier this month the plane maker revoked the orders for two A350-100 planes.
The deal, a company spokesperson said, was terminated “in full compliance with [Airbus’s] rights” and it was the second time to it terminated after the airline’s decision to go to court in the UK.
Airbus cancelled a Qatar Airways order for 50 A321neo in January, but the carrier recently petitioned with the High Court to reinstate the order or obtain compensation.
In the meantime, the High Court decided to issue an injunction against Airbus that prohibits the plane maker to “do anything […] that would adversely affect its ability to comply with any court order that Qatar Airways might obtain in relation to the purported cancellation of the A321 contract.”
The airline reported today that its civil aviation authority revoked its worthiness certificate to another A350, bringing the total of A350 aircraft grounded to 22.
“Qatar Airways will continue its legal action to seek an order that requires Airbus to fully, properly and transparently investigate the A350 accelerated surface degradation, to establish the conclusive and full root cause of an important condition which is degrading the surface of the aircraft beneath the paint,” the company said in a statement after it lambasted Airbus’s recent statements.
Commenting on the group’s 2021 financial results, Airbus’s chief executive Guillaume Faury said it was hoping for “an amicable solution” to the row.
“I would like to say as well that for us at Airbus the relationship with our customers is of the utmost importance and we will continue to work hard to service them,” he said on 17 February.
Qatar Airways rebutted that the manufacturer’s attitude had been anything but willing to reach a solution.
“It is important to clarify that neither Qatar Airways nor its legal team are aware of any efforts by Airbus to try to resolve the situation in an amicable way; in fact, the actual situation is to the contrary,” it added.