Airbus, Qatar Airways Settle A350 Dispute

On Wednesday, Airbus and Qatar reached an amicable agreement to settle their differences over the A350 paint job debacle.



February 2, 2023

DALLAS — Airbus announced yesterday that it has settled the legal dispute with Qatar Airways (QR) over the Airbus A350 aircraft issues. The French manufacturer and the Middle Eastern carrier have mutually agreed to settle their dispute with each other.

Commenting on the settlement, Airbus and QR stated, "Qatar Airways and Airbus are pleased to have reached an amicable and mutually agreeable settlement in relation to their legal dispute over A350 surface degradation and the grounding of A350 aircraft. A repair project is now underway and both parties look forward to getting these aircraft safely back in the air."

The parties further added, "The details of the settlement are confidential, and the parties will now proceed to discontinue their legal claims. The settlement agreement is not an admission of liability for either party. This agreement will enable QR and Airbus to move forward and work together as partners."

QR became the global launch customer of the A350-1000, receiving its first example in February 2018. Photo: Qatar Airways.

Next Step After the Settlement

Now that there is an amicable settlement between them, their next move will be to reinstate the cancellation of orders for narrowbody planes. The plane maker canceled QR's order for 50 Airbus A321neos due to a disagreement over QR's demand of US$600m for the Airbus A350.

QR's court filing back in January 2021 has caused reputational damage to both renowned companies. Now that they've reached an agreement on settlement terms, QR plans to fly its 23 grounded Airbus A350s again, with repair work done at the French manufacturer's expense.

According to, QR operates a fleet of 53 Airbus A350XWB aircraft, including 19 -1000s and 34 -900 variants. Following the cracks in the painted exterior that revealed gaps in a sublayer of the A350's lightning protector, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) grounded close to half of its fleet.

Currently, to solve this problem, Airbus has already started the modification in its upcoming batch of A350s. These changes will reduce cracks in the surface and will reduce some of the weight of the airplane.

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Featured Image: Qatar Airways A7-ANK Airbus 350-1000. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways