Airbus and Qatar Airways settle dispute over grounded A350 jets


Airbus and Qatar Airways announced Wednesday that the two companies have settled a dispute over grounded A350 jets due to peeling paint. The deal has averted a potentially damaging UK court trial after a 18-month feud that heavily affected the global jet market.

After months of negotiations and talks between French and Qatari leaders, the two sides said they were “pleased to have reached an amicable and mutually agreeable settlement”.

The settlement ends a $2 billion row over surface damage on the long-haul jets. The spat led to the withdrawal of billions of dollars’ worth of jet deals by Airbus, while prompting Qatar to increase purchases from Boeing.

Experts said both parties weren’t in favour of a court case. 

Under the new deal, the cancelled orders for 23 undelivered A350s and 50 smaller A321neos have been restored. The deal is also expected to see Airbus pay several hundred million dollars to the Gulf carrier. 

While neither of the two admitted liability, both pledged to drop claims. “This agreement will enable Qatar Airways and Airbus to move forward and work together as partners,” they added.

Both parties said that the details of the deal would remain “confidential”.

Airbus had acknowledged the paint problem, but it stressed, along with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), that there was no threat to airworthiness.

Qatar Airways had launched a legal battle and refused to take deliveries of more of the models. Hitting back at the action, Airbus cancelled the sale of 19 A350 jets and 50 A321 medium-haul planes.

(With inputs from agencies)

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