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Qatar Airways Statement on Airbus A350 Aircraft

28 February 2022

LONDON, UK – Qatar Airways welcomes the decision of the High Court on Friday 18 February 2022 which issued an injunction against Airbus. The essence of the order is that Airbus must not do anything between the date of the order and a further hearing in April 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. As the order obtained is an injunction, there would be serious consequences for Airbus should this order be breached. The decision by the High Court will help to protect Qatar Airways against any future attempts by Airbus to suggest that it is unable to comply with the terms of the A321 contract.

Qatar Airways also notes with surprise, the statement made by the Airbus CEO during the company’s latest earnings press event when he was referring to this litigation. He said: “We have to take steps to protect ourselves and protect the company and that’s basically what we are doing, but obviously we continue to try to resolve the situation in a more amicable way”.  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.  Qatar Airways was surprised to see Airbus' latest efforts to attempt to terminate their own contractual commitment to establish a full root cause analysis of the A350 Accelerated Surface Degradation which is currently impacting the A350 aircraft type.  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.

In a further development, Qatar Airways regrets to advise that its regulator, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA), has now revoked the Airworthiness Review Certificate in respect of an additional A350 aircraft resulting in a total of twenty-two (22) Airbus A350 aircraft now grounded. This decision has been taken by our regulator as all of these aircraft have developed damage as a result of the A350 Accelerated Surface Degradation Condition which is beyond the tolerance limits set by Airbus. The QCAA will not allow these aircraft to return to service until a full and conclusive root cause analysis has been completed, the impact on continuing airworthiness has been established and a solution been found to permanently correct the root cause and repair the damage. The safety of passengers and crew remains the highest priority for Qatar Airways and therefore the airline fully supports the decision of the QCAA.

Notes to Editors:

About Qatar Airways: 

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).

Hamad International Airport (HIA), the airline’s home and hub, was recently announced as the ‘World’s Best Airport’ in the Skytrax 2021 World Airport Awards. HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World's Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014.

Qsuite, a patented Qatar Airways product, features the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, as well as privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry.

Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 160 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights can stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight in the belly-hold deck of passenger aircraft to an extensive network. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 26 Boeing 777 freighters and six B777-300ER mini freighters.

Qatar Executive is the private jet charter division of Qatar Airways Group. Luxury jet services are available for worldwide charter on board the operator’s wholly-owned business jet fleet. Qatar Executive is the launch customer for Gulfstream’s G700, the world’s first commercial service operator of the Gulfstream G500 and largest commercial operator of the G650ER worldwide. Qatar Executive's service portfolio also includes aircraft management, maintenance and Fixed Based Operator services.

For further information, please contact:

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department

Tel: +974 4022 2200

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