Both sides have not yet share details of the settlement, but in a joint statement, the airline and manufacturer said the lawsuit will now be frozen. Thus, the conflicting parties saved face, although they did not admit their own responsibility.
Qatar Airways has filed a lawsuit against Airbus over a dispute over a paint defect on a whole batch of new-generation A350 long-haul aircraft.
Qatar's civil aviation regulator said a problem that caused paint to bubble, crack and flake off a carbon composite aircraft fuselage — a serious flaw and a security risk as it exposed a layer of copper mesh that protects against lightning strikes.
The airline believes that the defect compromised lightning protection and has made the decision to temporarily stop operating 30 aircraft until Airbus can identify the root cause of the problem and provide a practical solution.
For its part, Airbus denied that the cosmetic paint defect represents security threat. However, it was recently revealed that the manufacturer had changed the design in new deliveries to prevent the problem from occurring.
Airbus also admitted in court that it had reached agreements with other A350 operators who had experienced similar problems, and no other airline didn't “land” their A350s.
In a joint statement, Qatar Airways and Airbus said a project was underway to repair “non-operational” aircraft, and it is too early to talk about the timing of its completion. However, the text contains the phrase that “both parties look forward to the return of these aircraft to the air safe and sound.”
“Details of the settlement are confidential, the parties have proceeded to terminate their legal claims. The settlement is not an admission of liability for either party.
In retaliation for the lawsuit, Airbus canceled major deals made by Qatar Airways for an additional batch of A350 aircraft and narrow-body A321 aircraft.
Qatar Airways has reached out to Boeing to fill the gap with 737MAX deliveries, but Airbus said on Wednesday that it will now restore orders.
Alas, Qatar Airways has lost its place in the long line for delivery, and the first of 50 A321neo aircraft is now can receive no earlier than 2026.