By Joshua Kirby 

Airbus SE said Thursday that it is seeking an independent legal assessment in the face of what it calls "mischaracterization" by a customer of dangerous surface degradation on some of its aircraft.

The European plane maker said a legal assessment is necessary since the two parties have been unable to settle the dispute through direct discussions.

Qatar Airways said in August that it was monitoring a condition on its Airbus A350 fleet, in which the fuselage surface below the paint was degrading at an accelerated rate. Thirteen aircraft from the fleet were grounded at the instruction of the airline's regulator, it said at the time.

But Airbus says the issue has no effect on the A350 fleet's airworthiness, a finding it says has been confirmed by the European Aviation Safety Agency. "The attempt by this customer to misrepresent this specific topic as an airworthiness issue represents a threat to the international protocols on safety matters," the plane maker said.

"While Airbus regrets the need to follow such a path, it has become necessary to defend its position and reputation," the company said. It added that it is working to re-establish dialogue with the customer, but is unwilling to accept "inaccurate" statements.


Write to Joshua Kirby at; @joshualeokirby


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 09, 2021 12:36 ET (17:36 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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