Another legal defeat for Qatar Airways. The Gulf airline must continue to accept and pay for Airbus A350 aircraft.

The aircraft manufacturer Airbus has won another interim victory in court in a dispute with major customer Qatar Airways.

A British court rejected the airline’s request for an injunction that Airbus should stop deliveries to the state-owned airline. Qatar Airways must therefore continue to purchase and pay for Airbus A350 aircraft, even if the legal dispute continues. A handful of deliveries of the type are planned for the coming years. This is the second defeat for the Gulf airline.

At the end of April, a British court allowed Airbus to cancel the airline’s order for 50 medium-haul A321neo jets. Accordingly, Airbus may sell the aircraft of this series ordered by Qatar Airways to other customers. Instead, the state airline of the Arab Emirate of Qatar had to obtain the aircraft it needed elsewhere. The airline had already signed a contract with Airbus competitor Boeing.

In principle, the dispute is not about the much-sought-after A321neo jets, but about paint and surface damage to long-haul Airbus A350 jets, which the airline now has to continue to accept. Qatar Airways filed a lawsuit against the European manufacturer in London in December because of the defects. Airbus, on the other hand, does not consider the problems to be safety-related, but wanted to fix the deficiencies. Qatar Airways is one of the most important Airbus customers. The company has 53 A350-Series aircraft in its fleet and has an additional 23 on order.

The fuselage of the A350 consists largely of carbon fiber composites. There is a metallic fabric between the fuselage and the exterior paintwork that protects against lightning strikes. Depending on the operating conditions, cracks in the paint or in this fabric appear on some aircraft of this type, Airbus said.