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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.

About Qatar Airways

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways won the ‘World’s Best Business Class’ for the tenth time at the 2023 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. The airline continues to be synonymous with excellence, also taking home, 'Best Airline in the Middle East', 'World's Best Business Class Lounge' and 'World's Best Business Class Lounge Dining' at the prestigious awards held during the 2023 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways is an unprecedented seven-time winner of the 'World’s Best Airline' voted by Skytrax (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022). As leaders in industry innovation and digital adoption, Qatar Airways was recently voted the 'World’s Best Airline Website' by World Travel Tech Awards.

Qatar Airways was the first Airline in the Middle East to be certified to the highest level of IATA’s Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) programme, based on recognised environmental management system principles (such as ISO 14001). As an inaugural signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016, Qatar Airways became the first airline globally to be certified to the industry standard for the prevention of illegal wildlife trafficking in aviation.

Qatar Airways currently flies to nearly 170 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, the ‘World’s Best Airport’, as voted by Skytrax in 2021, 2022, and 2024. In 2024, Hamad International Airport also received the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ accolade for 10 consecutive years, as well as ‘World’s Best Airport Shopping’ for the second year in a row.

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