Doha: Airbus said it hopes to make up with Qatar Airways despite an acrimonious legal fight over the marquee A350 aircraft.
“We are in an unfortunate situation with Qatar Airways, who is indeed a very important customer of Airbus,” CEO Guillaume Faury said. “We have to defend ourselves, but obviously we will work hard to find at a point in time an amicable resolution because we want to stay with Qatar Airways.”
Faury’s comments underscore how the manufacturer and one of its top customers have navigated themselves into a tough spot. At the heart of the dispute is surface paint that’s flaking off some relatively new A350s, a defect that ultimately led Qatar Airways to refuse accepting outstanding aircraft. Airbus canceled a major order for another model after the fight went to court.
An open mind
Faury said that while Airbus disagrees with the airline’s claim that the defect represents a safety issue, he is still hopeful of reaching a resolution. For the time being, the two sides are facing off in court in London after Qatar Airways sued Airbus last year.
Airbus will serve its defense in the case next week, after accusing Qatar Airways of leaning on its local aviation regulator to ground the jets in court documents made public in January, a charge the airline denies.
The carrier meanwhile contends that Airbus owes it more than $600 million in compensation for the grounding of 21 jets due to the issue.