By Olivia Bugault

 

Qatar Airways said late Monday it has filed legal proceedings against European plane maker Airbus SE related to fuselage surface degradation on some of its A350 widebody jets.

Qatar Airways said it has so far grounded 21 A350 jets because of the issue, which couldn't be solved through discussions between the two companies.

In August, the flag carrier said it had to ground 13 A350s at the instruction of its regulators because of the surface and paint damages that could pose safety issues.

The airline is suing Airbus in the technology and construction division of the High Court in London, it said.

"We have sadly failed in all our attempts to reach a constructive solution with Airbus in relation to the accelerated surface degradation condition adversely impacting the Airbus A350 aircraft," the carrier said. "Qatar Airways has therefore been left with no alternative but to seek a rapid resolution of this dispute via the courts."

The aerospace giant acknowledged in a statement late Monday that it has received a formal legal claim from the Qatari airline, and said it intends to "vigorously defend its position."

Earlier this month, the plane maker--which doesn't dispute the existence of surface degradation on some A350 aircraft--said the issue has no effect on its fleet's airworthiness, a finding that it said was confirmed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. At the time, Airbus also said it was seeking an independent legal assessment in the face of what it called "mischaracterization of nonstructural surface degradation on its fleet of A350 aircraft by one of its customers."

 

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 21, 2021 02:25 ET (07:25 GMT)

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