Click here to show YOUR banners on this page and only pay for success

Airlines Airport Aviation Breaking Travel News Business Travel Government News Investment News People Qatar Responsible Safety Tourism Transportation Travel Wire News Trending United Kingdom

British judge deals a blow to Qatar Airways in Airbus lawsuit

British judge deals a blow to Qatar Airways in Airbus lawsuit
British judge deals a blow to Qatar Airways in Airbus lawsuit
Written by Harry Johnson

In a major setback to Qatar Airways, London’s High Court judge rejected the airline’s request to force European plane maker Airbus to keep producing A321neo aircraft for the Gulf carrier.

The British judge’s decision means the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer is free to market the popular planes to other air carriers, while pursuing a separate dispute with Qatar Airways over the safety of larger A350 jets.

After Qatar Airways’ refusal to take A350s over damage to the jets’ painted protective layer, Airbus revoked the carrier’s A321neo deal in January 2022.

According to Airbus, the two contracts are connected by a “cross-default” clause that allows it to pull the plug on one deal when an airline refuses to honor the other.

Airbus has accused Qatar Airways, the largest buyer of its A350 aircraft, of airing invalid safety concerns to avoid taking jets at a time of weak demand, and to activate a $1 billion compensation claim.

According to Qatar Airways, it was right to stop taking A350 deliveries over what it describes as genuine safety concerns by Doha’s regulator over gaps or corrosion in a sublayer of lightning protection left exposed by cratered paint on more than 20 grounded A350s. Airline claims that the cross-default clause does not in any case apply.

The Gulf carrier’s argument that it could not obtain similar aircraft to make up the shortfall in A321neo supply has been rejected by the judge.

The airline was also ordered to pay most of Airbus’s costs on the A321neo part of the case.

The court’s decision does not mean that Qatar Airways reinstating the contract at a fuller trial is not possible but rules that the cost of filling any gap between now and then can only be addressed by financial damages rather than forcing Airbus to build its customized jets.

Airbus’ decision to cancel the A321neo deal alarmed some airlines, with the head of the International Air Transport Association describing it as a “worrying” development in a corner of the market where Airbus enjoys the bulk of new orders.

Airline officials also worry the A321neo case may set a precedent allowing disputes to ricochet from one contract to another, tightening the grip of plane giants Airbus and Boeing.

Related News

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

Leave a Comment

Share to...