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Joshu
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:02 pm

ER757 wrote:
Joshu wrote:
rlwynn wrote:
Seems like Qatar will look for any excuse not to pay.


I was thinking the same thing.

Since QR already has these aircraft in their possession, I'd assume they were already paid for, so what is Qatar looking for an excuse to not to pay for?


It was my understanding that Qatar recently had a beef with Airbus. In doing so, they would find tiny problems with the A/C and make it seem disastrous so they could refuse new deliveries.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:23 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Here's a Reuters article from June that does into more detail of this issue:

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-08/

This all started when one of QR's A350's was sent to a contractor in Ireland for repaint to a special 2022 World Cup livery. It is speculated that when the original paint was removed by the contractor they discovered evidence of exposed metal mesh that is supposed to be underneath the fuselage skin and used for lightning protection. While this may have been a byproduct of bad procedures followed in the paint stripping process by the painting contractor, QR is treating this like a major design flaw of the A350.

Well, if nothing else, the article provides a quote from an official QR spokeperson saying this is not just a paint issue as some continue to suggest:

"Qatar Airways continues to experience and has witnessed a condition in which
the surface below the paint on some of its Airbus A350 aircraft has been degrading at an accelerated rate
," an airline spokesperson said in response to a Reuters query.

The stuff about exposed mesh comes via unnamed sources:

Two industry sources said problems had emerged when the old paint was stripped away, triggering discussions over whether it was a one-off repair problem or evidence of deeper issues.

The plane was then sent to Toulouse, home to both Airbus and facilities of Satys Group, a major paint contractor that handles work for both Airbus and Qatar Airways, industry sources said. It has remained in Toulouse since Jan 5, according to tracking data.

While the jet had been expected to go to Satys, which is repainting other jets for the 2022 tournament, it ended up on the forecourt of Airbus amid a standoff over who was to blame for exposing metal mesh on the aircraft's skin, they said.

It'd be interesting to know more about how they determined these exact planes needed to be grounded.

Presumably all of them were not being repainted as well, no?

I wonder if there is any evidence of exposed mesh on those aircraft.

Joshu wrote:
ER757 wrote:
Since QR already has these aircraft in their possession, I'd assume they were already paid for, so what is Qatar looking for an excuse to not to pay for?


It was my understanding that Qatar recently had a beef with Airbus. In doing so, they would find tiny problems with the A/C and make it seem disastrous so they could refuse new deliveries.

The Reuters article is a bit more delicate on this element of the discussion:

The airline says its exacting standards reflect its premium brand, although aerospace executives have accused it of seizing on such details in the past to delay taking deliveries or gain leverage in other negotiations, a suggestion it has denied.

He said, she said.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:33 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
The first issues were detected only AFTER the top layer of paint had been stripped off.

Unless QR are stripping paint solely to look for this problem, it looks like they have devised a way to detect problems in the undercoat by "looking through" the topcoat.


Wasn’t the problem initially discovered by accident when a plane was supposed to get a special livery and then ended up instead back at Airbus for repairs on their dime? I suspect that QR wants to know if other frames have this problem as they were the launch customer for both types.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:34 pm

Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:49 pm

guillermohs wrote:
Negotiations for launch customer of the A350F are escalating rapidly. :duck:

QR's record for rejecting aircraft based on dubious quality issues is well-known. Not until another operator of the A350 publicly addresses the issue, this might very well be another of Al Baker's quarrels with the manufacturers as a form of negotiation for new aircraft. The fact that this comes out the same week Airbus announces the freighter version of the A350 is even more remarkable.


This spat between Qatar Airways and Airbus regarding the A350s is already going on since a few months.
 
Opus99
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:56 pm

Lootess wrote:
guillermohs wrote:
Negotiations for launch customer of the A350F are escalating rapidly. :duck:

QR's record for rejecting aircraft based on dubious quality issues is well-known. Not until another operator of the A350 publicly addresses the issue, this might very well be another of Al Baker's quarrels with the manufacturers as a form of negotiation for new aircraft. The fact that this comes out the same week Airbus announces the freighter version of the A350 is even more remarkable.


I have no doubt that AAB wants some resolution so they can get a "premier" launch A350F deal signed.

All this for a break on the 350F? Seems a bit much. Surely there are better negotiation tactics than bringing out a whole fleet of aircraft from storage
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:18 pm

Joshu wrote:
ER757 wrote:
Joshu wrote:

I was thinking the same thing.

Since QR already has these aircraft in their possession, I'd assume they were already paid for, so what is Qatar looking for an excuse to not to pay for?


It was my understanding that Qatar recently had a beef with Airbus. In doing so, they would find tiny problems with the A/C and make it seem disastrous so they could refuse new deliveries.


All airlines have the ability to reject any delivery that does not meet specifications. Each delivery is a negotiation about whether issues will be corrected or compensated for. Every delivery from all manufacturers will have some type of issue.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:54 am

SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


Normally, no. But not quite enough is known here yet.
 
Airlinerdude
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:43 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
If it is purely posturing the logical explanation would be deferrals or cancellation without financial penalty. I personally am skeptical of anything STC or Al Baker state publicly, but grounding a significant part of your A350 fleet and bringing A330's out of storage is a new escalation that has a financial impact.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.


If it wasn't posturing, wouldn't QR gladly accept A350 deliveries then? Surely if the defect in question can be isolated to 13 aircraft, QR would prefer newly delivered aircraft to replace the grounded ones for the interim, thus avoiding any cost of bringing A330s into service or substitutions with 777s.
 
Niloko
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:48 am

Joshu wrote:
ER757 wrote:
Joshu wrote:

I was thinking the same thing.

Since QR already has these aircraft in their possession, I'd assume they were already paid for, so what is Qatar looking for an excuse to not to pay for?


It was my understanding that Qatar recently had a beef with Airbus. In doing so, they would find tiny problems with the A/C and make it seem disastrous so they could refuse new deliveries.

These problems are what have been causing beef since months
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:15 am

SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


If the Qatar Airways fleet is the one seeing the safety issue and on the leading edge then I’d expect the Qatari regulatory agency to be on the leading edge. Without information on the route cause of the issue, it is quite possible that Qatar is the one experiencing the issue worse than other operators. As the airline with the worlds largest fleet and having over 10% of delivered A350s and with the oldest A350s, they likely will see issues before other airlines. Additionally after the issue was originally found on an airplane going through an early repaint for a special paint scheme, Qatar has done inspections that other airlines haven’t. We will see what EASA has to say by seeing if they issue an inspection Airworthiness directive or not.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:24 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
If it is purely posturing the logical explanation would be deferrals or cancellation without financial penalty. I personally am skeptical of anything STC or Al Baker state publicly, but grounding a significant part of your A350 fleet and bringing A330's out of storage is a new escalation that has a financial impact.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.


If it wasn't posturing, wouldn't QR gladly accept A350 deliveries then? Surely if the defect in question can be isolated to 13 aircraft, QR would prefer newly delivered aircraft to replace the grounded ones for the interim, thus avoiding any cost of bringing A330s into service or substitutions with 777s.


I have no doubt there would be posturing, but what type is a question, Warranty period lasts 4 years. I could see Qatar not wanting to take new airplanes with a defect that will cost millions to repair right after the warranty period expires. They could be forcing a delivery commitment where they are demanding an extended warranty and retroactive warranty coverage for their existing fleet, which Airbus may not be willing to do.
 
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ADent
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:57 am

Here is the earlier thread about the A350 surface coating cracks: viewtopic.php?t=1456315
 
Lootess
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:40 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Airlinerdude wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
If it is purely posturing the logical explanation would be deferrals or cancellation without financial penalty. I personally am skeptical of anything STC or Al Baker state publicly, but grounding a significant part of your A350 fleet and bringing A330's out of storage is a new escalation that has a financial impact.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.


If it wasn't posturing, wouldn't QR gladly accept A350 deliveries then? Surely if the defect in question can be isolated to 13 aircraft, QR would prefer newly delivered aircraft to replace the grounded ones for the interim, thus avoiding any cost of bringing A330s into service or substitutions with 777s.


I have no doubt there would be posturing, but what type is a question, Warranty period lasts 4 years. I could see Qatar not wanting to take new airplanes with a defect that will cost millions to repair right after the warranty period expires. They could be forcing a delivery commitment where they are demanding an extended warranty and retroactive warranty coverage for their existing fleet, which Airbus may not be willing to do.


Yep. Dispute could likely be around wanting extended warranties because of what was found, those are expensive. Although QR has been a launch customer and always buys everything Airbus offers, so can imagine they could make some special warranty cutouts if it's for the same issue. I just feel it's a matter of time until they break bread again.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:09 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


If the Qatar Airways fleet is the one seeing the safety issue and on the leading edge then I’d expect the Qatari regulatory agency to be on the leading edge. Without information on the route cause of the issue, it is quite possible that Qatar is the one experiencing the issue worse than other operators. As the airline with the worlds largest fleet and having over 10% of delivered A350s and with the oldest A350s, they likely will see issues before other airlines. Additionally after the issue was originally found on an airplane going through an early repaint for a special paint scheme, Qatar has done inspections that other airlines haven’t. We will see what EASA has to say by seeing if they issue an inspection Airworthiness directive or not.


The FAA and EASA have to step up now and order inspections or even a grounding too. If there is a safety issue, appropriated measures must be taken.
 
majano
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:22 am

seahawk wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Does anyone really believe that if this was a true safety issue that the Qatari safety regulator would be on the leading edge?


If the Qatar Airways fleet is the one seeing the safety issue and on the leading edge then I’d expect the Qatari regulatory agency to be on the leading edge. Without information on the route cause of the issue, it is quite possible that Qatar is the one experiencing the issue worse than other operators. As the airline with the worlds largest fleet and having over 10% of delivered A350s and with the oldest A350s, they likely will see issues before other airlines. Additionally after the issue was originally found on an airplane going through an early repaint for a special paint scheme, Qatar has done inspections that other airlines haven’t. We will see what EASA has to say by seeing if they issue an inspection Airworthiness directive or not.


The FAA and EASA have to step up now and order inspections or even a grounding too. If there is a safety issue, appropriated measures must be taken.

I will ask again, is there any reference to the Qatar regulator's instruction other than what is relayed by the airline?
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:54 am

majano wrote:
I will ask again, is there any reference to the Qatar regulator's instruction other than what is relayed by the airline?


There appears to be no safety directives published by the Qatar CAA regarding this

https://www.caa.gov.qa/en-us/CivilAviat ... Category=3

It is also very unusual to use the term "request", authorities publish "directives" (i.e. must) which are compulsory by some sort of limiting time/hours/cycles, a request in my view is something that is too arbitrary.

Checking of paint bonding to composite structures is standard maintenance practices (eg FAA AC 20-107B available online), the colour of the pigment can change the amount of heat that is reflected or absorbed.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:25 am

A key question is why the QR A350 is still at Toulouse after 7 months. If the cracks found in the fuselage are "cosmetic" and not "structural" why the need for Airbus to keep the aircraft for so long?
 
Gremlinzzzz
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:08 am

EASA needs to get to the bottom of this.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:10 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
A key question is why the QR A350 is still at Toulouse after 7 months. If the cracks found in the fuselage are "cosmetic" and not "structural" why the need for Airbus to keep the aircraft for so long?


It will also depend on if QR wants to pick that airframe up. If they do they would somewhat admit that the problem is solved (so all the posturing now would be hot air). Airbus on the other side can hardly force a transfer flight as it is not their aircraft. If the problem is not solved and it actually exists I am really worried why it took so long for anyone to act.

The inspection must have some oversight also from other airlines operating the 350. They have to be interested in the findings. The fact everyone is very quiet about it seems to indicate there is no problem.

No words from any official regulator for 7 months of a problem is somewhat telling. If it would be a flight safety problem someone would have acted long time ago. And now it is the Quatari regulator that does not even mandate something is also strange.





I wonder if Airbus charges parking fees and depending on what the outcome of all this is, if QR will pay or if the aircraft gets clamped
 
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BoeingVista
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:30 am

Revelation wrote:
qf789 wrote:
A330’s are being returned to service to compensate fir the grounded jets

The cost of spinning up the A330s seems to suggest this isn't just a negotiating move, there is some actual expense being born to deal with the issue.

Yes, I went there..


Not really. Any cost in spinning up the 330's will be offset by not taking delivery of A350's. Its all about money.
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:43 am

Aircrafts are paid at delivery (beside the small deposit). In those hard times it can be useful for an airline to postpone some deliveries. You can also add some posturing for a more favorable A350F deal.

There would be less debates if it was let's say Finnair and EASA. But it's Qatar Airways (and Al-Baker) and the local authority (Qatari state). While there is no doubt that safety is the priority of such a great airline, we know what business practices they can display.
 
majano
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:50 am

zeke wrote:
majano wrote:
I will ask again, is there any reference to the Qatar regulator's instruction other than what is relayed by the airline?


There appears to be no safety directives published by the Qatar CAA regarding this

https://www.caa.gov.qa/en-us/CivilAviat ... Category=3

It is also very unusual to use the term "request", authorities publish "directives" (i.e. must) which are compulsory by some sort of limiting time/hours/cycles, a request in my view is something that is too arbitrary.

Checking of paint bonding to composite structures is standard maintenance practices (eg FAA AC 20-107B available online), the colour of the pigment can change the amount of heat that is reflected or absorbed.

Thanks. So there is no objective evidence of action by the authority so far.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:54 am

LaunchDetected wrote:
Aircrafts are paid at delivery (beside the small deposit). In those hard times it can be useful for an airline to postpone some deliveries. You can also add some posturing for a more favorable A350F deal.

There would be less debates if it was let's say Finnair and EASA. But it's Qatar Airways (and Al-Baker) and the local authority (Qatari state). While there is no doubt that safety is the priority of such a great airline, we know what business practices they can display.


Maybe, there would also be some substance to all of this, the QR aircraft that went back to TLS for repaint as far as I know was the first to have its tail painted prior to the FAL. There maybe some connection with this.

QR have not grounded all of the A350s, around 1/3 of the fleet. And this has not started this week, they were doing that back in June.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:47 pm

zeke wrote:
majano wrote:
I will ask again, is there any reference to the Qatar regulator's instruction other than what is relayed by the airline?


There appears to be no safety directives published by the Qatar CAA regarding this

https://www.caa.gov.qa/en-us/CivilAviat ... Category=3

It is also very unusual to use the term "request", authorities publish "directives" (i.e. must) which are compulsory by some sort of limiting time/hours/cycles, a request in my view is something that is too arbitrary.

Checking of paint bonding to composite structures is standard maintenance practices (eg FAA AC 20-107B available online), the colour of the pigment can change the amount of heat that is reflected or absorbed.


The principle maintenance inspector for the airline usually has the ability to ground aircraft without an Airworthiness Directive if damage found to an airplane is deemed unairwothy. I wouldn’t expect an AD if the airplanes are grounded as a result of damage findings. The PMI has oversite of logbook entries and corrective action which is where the damage would be documented,
 
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par13del
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:32 pm

So the A350is the most fuel-efficient and profitable a/c in their fleet, but we believe they are grounding a number of those a/c to get a better deal as launch customer for the A350F?
My mind goes back to the 787 RR engine issue where only engines for airlines in Asia were having problems, once it was identified that high sulfur content in the atmosphere in the region created the problem, our thoughts were somewhat different about those airlines and their operations.
Silence by other operators of the a/c does not always mean that a problem does not exist, unfortunately, the information lid on this once requires more heavy lifting.
 
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SQ22
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:51 pm

A friendly reminder: Please provide a link when stating facts and pleqse make it clear when you are expressing your opinion. Thanks.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:22 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
I have no doubt there would be posturing, but what type is a question, Warranty period lasts 4 years. I could see Qatar not wanting to take new airplanes with a defect that will cost millions to repair right after the warranty period expires. They could be forcing a delivery commitment where they are demanding an extended warranty and retroactive warranty coverage for their existing fleet, which Airbus may not be willing to do.

Strong point.

Reuters quoted QR as saying as they wanted the root cause understood and remedies provided before they took any more deliveries.

Your suggestion might be the way to get deliveries restarted.

If it is not a serious issue and only something caused by improper paint removal, I wonder why Airbus isn't willing to offer coverage to get the deliveries restarted?

Airbus would merely need to provide someone to supervise future paint removal for a while and life would go on.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:50 pm

I will say again as a personal opinion I do not believe this is a safety issue. The silence from other A350 operators to me is telling as well. If this is purely posturing it would seem to be some very high stakes gambling. Hopefully, there will be some factual information soon.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:46 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
I will say again as a personal opinion I do not believe this is a safety issue. The silence from other A350 operators to me is telling as well. If this is purely posturing it would seem to be some very high stakes gambling. Hopefully, there will be some factual information soon.

Not only from other other A350 operators; but also (and especially) nothing from Aviation Authorities worldwide.
 
Texas77
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:47 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
The first issues were detected only AFTER the top layer of paint had been stripped off.

Unless QR are stripping paint solely to look for this problem, it looks like they have devised a way to detect problems in the undercoat by "looking through" the topcoat.


Wasn’t the problem initially discovered by accident when a plane was supposed to get a special livery and then ended up instead back at Airbus for repairs on their dime? I suspect that QR wants to know if other frames have this problem as they were the launch customer for both types.


that's a lot of logic for this place ;). An issue is discovered back in January, we all know and agree. It has sat at Airbus since. My guess is, this wasn't simple to figure out, and especially when it came down to "who has to pay for it". AAB mentioned it recently, now we know what he was talking about. Seems logical that when he mentioned it a month ago, they didn't know exactly what was going on, now they have a better idea. So he has his troops inspect the rest of their A350s and found other A350s with the same issue. Seems like exactly what QR should do, as you rightly point out.

Look I know AAB has done some goofy stuff in the past, but the actual facts in this case seem pretty straight forward. And as others have rightly mentioned, he's going to ground his best airplane and use less efficient ones that he has to bring out of storage, just to save a couple bucks on his A350F order? The conspiracy theories here just don't make sense in this case
 
pugman211
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:50 pm

It will be interesting to know if these cracks are appearing in the same location on each frame. I.e. is this related to a specific panel on the fuse? Or is it process related to the paint removal etc
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:16 pm

pugman211 wrote:
It will be interesting to know if these cracks are appearing in the same location on each frame. I.e. is this related to a specific panel on the fuse? Or is it process related to the paint removal etc


There isn’t cracks, it’s paint not sticking to the composite.
 
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Polot
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:20 pm

zeke wrote:
pugman211 wrote:
It will be interesting to know if these cracks are appearing in the same location on each frame. I.e. is this related to a specific panel on the fuse? Or is it process related to the paint removal etc


There isn’t cracks, it’s paint not sticking to the composite.

We don’t have a full understanding of what all the problems actually are. According to Reuters(?) unnamed sources claim mesh from the lightning protection system embedded in the fuselage was exposed. That is not an example of paint not sticking to composite and flaking off- that is degradation of the composite surface. All Airbus has claimed is “irregularities on the surface coating” which can mean a lot of different things (https://simpleflying.com/qatar-airbus-a350-cracks/). Note too that the paint was stripped off the aircraft- that “surface coating” is referring to the protective coating on the composite, not the paint…

The question then becomes is if that is a one off, or a repeat thing. And if one off, who is responsible (was paint improperly stripped off? was paint vendor following Airbus approved/provided procedure? Does procedure need to be revised? Etc).
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:29 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

The principle maintenance inspector for the airline usually has the ability to ground aircraft without an Airworthiness Directive if damage found to an airplane is deemed unairwothy. I wouldn’t expect an AD if the airplanes are grounded as a result of damage findings. The PMI has oversite of logbook entries and corrective action which is where the damage would be documented,


Yes, and no.

To do so they would need to make an entry in the Service Difficulty Reporting System (SDRS) in their country which in turn gets sent uploaded to the FAA/EASA and everyone around the world can see.

The industry does not work in isolation, if one maintenance organization has a finding, that gets reported via the Service Difficulty Reporting System (SDRS), and it becomes a trend across operators, or deemed an actual issue they result in service bulletins and/or airworthiness directives.

So yes the local maintenance organization can deem an aircraft to be unairworthy, however it would need to share that finding internationally via its local airworthiness authority. That is how the continued airworthiness process works.
 
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Antaras
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:57 pm

memphiX wrote:
Any word from VN? They have a number of early frames as well.

Only one of the first four A359 (MSN 015 active vs 014, 016, and 017) is active at this moment, the rest were grounded for months due to many reasons including the pandemic.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:31 pm

zeke wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

The principle maintenance inspector for the airline usually has the ability to ground aircraft without an Airworthiness Directive if damage found to an airplane is deemed unairwothy. I wouldn’t expect an AD if the airplanes are grounded as a result of damage findings. The PMI has oversite of logbook entries and corrective action which is where the damage would be documented,


Yes, and no.

To do so they would need to make an entry in the Service Difficulty Reporting System (SDRS) in their country which in turn gets sent uploaded to the FAA/EASA and everyone around the world can see.

The industry does not work in isolation, if one maintenance organization has a finding, that gets reported via the Service Difficulty Reporting System (SDRS), and it becomes a trend across operators, or deemed an actual issue they result in service bulletins and/or airworthiness directives.

So yes the local maintenance organization can deem an aircraft to be unairworthy, however it would need to share that finding internationally via its local airworthiness authority. That is how the continued airworthiness process works.


Yes that is true for items that are reportable based on the various criteria used. I’m aware of FAA criteria but not EASA or Qatar. I’d assume this issue would warrant reporting, but can’t say so for sure.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:42 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Yes that is true for items that are reportable based on the various criteria used. I’m aware of FAA criteria but not EASA or Qatar. I’d assume this issue would warrant reporting, but can’t say so for sure.


Any common issue that makes 13 aircraft unairworthy (ie grounded) would require to be reported. If on the other hand they are airworthy and Qatar is just parking aircraft due to low demand, and looking as ways to defer deliveries, they would not get reported. There would be no global scrutiny over the defects that caused the grounded, as there are no defects.

Airlines around the world are watching this to see if any defects are being reported. According to earlier press reports they started grounding aircraft back in June, still nothing in the system.
 
Douglas7Seas
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:49 pm

Revelation wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The cost of spinning up the A330s seems to suggest this isn't just a negotiating move, there is some actual expense being born to deal with the issue.

Yes, I went there..

That’s what it seems. But I’m wondering what this means for the jet. I’m assuming it has no effect on the safety of the aircraft?

It probably is like what we're seeing on 787, no real effect on safety yet not meeting specifications so the regulator has "requested" a grounding.

Of course airlines will honor such "requests", there is too much risk in deciding to ignore their "request".

The significant part of story is in our thread starter's post -- "Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator".

The title of the Reuters article is "Qatar Airways says regulator grounds 13 of its Airbus A350s over surface issue".

You can say what you want about the way things work in Qatar, but it is significant that this is no longer a squabble between QR and Airbus, it is a grounding.

morrisond wrote:
Generally they don`t ground something unless it is an immediate safety concern - but given the Airline and personalities involved - this could be posturing and a way to reduce costs at a time when cash is scarce.

Yet we have 787s grounded for a manufacturing issue that no one is suggesting is an immediate safety concern. As above, I presume that the planes are not meeting specifications thus the regulator has no choice but to issue a grounding request that is in effect a grounding order.


Your defensiveness of Airbus is curious.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:55 pm

zeke wrote:
pugman211 wrote:
It will be interesting to know if these cracks are appearing in the same location on each frame. I.e. is this related to a specific panel on the fuse? Or is it process related to the paint removal etc

There isn’t cracks, it’s paint not sticking to the composite.

QR's spokesperson told Reuters their complaint goes a bit further than that:

"Qatar Airways continues to experience and has witnessed a condition in which the surface below the paint on some of its Airbus A350 aircraft has been degrading at an accelerated rate," an airline spokesperson said in response to a Reuters query.

Ref: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-08/

If the paint's not sticking it's because the surface below the paint is degrading it would seem.

The same article gives unnamed sources saying that the underlying mesh was exposed after the old paint was stripped away:

Two industry sources said problems had emerged when the old paint was stripped away, triggering discussions over whether it was a one-off repair problem or evidence of deeper issues.

The plane was then sent to Toulouse, home to both Airbus and facilities of Satys Group, a major paint contractor that handles work for both Airbus and Qatar Airways, industry sources said. It has remained in Toulouse since Jan 5, according to tracking data.

While the jet had been expected to go to Satys, which is repainting other jets for the 2022 tournament, it ended up on the forecourt of Airbus amid a standoff over who was to blame for exposing metal mesh on the aircraft's skin, they said.
 
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zeke
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
If the paint's not sticking it's because the surface below the paint is degrading it would seem.


Paint is not applied to composites, between the paint layer which has the livery, and the underlying composite part there are multiple layers.
 
SEA
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:29 pm

morrisond wrote:
[

I think we can't ignore the potential financial angle. I believe somewhere it was mentioned the lessors were notified. There may be a clause in the leasing contract that Qatar doesn't have to pay if they are grounded due to an issue such as this. With a lot of Empty planes lying around that are maybe already paid for - 77W and 330 combined with a friendly regulator - this could an easy way to lower the monthly fleet costs.

At least that is what it smells like to me.


They would definitely still be responsible for paying the lessor. If QR were trying to get some sort of financial windfall out of this, this is a quite a lot of effort, that would cost the more money in the interim anyway. I really don't think that's an angle here to be honest.
 
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3rdGen
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:59 pm

It cannot be just the paint not sticking. If that was the case why was the problem not found out until after the paint was stripped off for the repaint. The reality is that something under the paint isn’t right with the aircraft. One thing that is clear is that it isn’t a safety issue, it is something that is expected to happen within the life cycle of the aircraft but it is happening too soon for Qatar’s liking. I think thats a fair concern to have. The issue now is that Qatar is clearly not getting anywhere with Airbus and are now taking their spat out in public, and refusing to fly the aircraft on which they are finding the issue.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:34 pm

zeke wrote:
Revelation wrote:
If the paint's not sticking it's because the surface below the paint is degrading it would seem.

Paint is not applied to composites, between the paint layer which has the livery, and the underlying composite part there are multiple layers.

"Surface below the paint" is the wording QR's spokesperson chose to use, as did I.
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:12 pm

3rdGen wrote:
It cannot be just the paint not sticking. If that was the case why was the problem not found out until after the paint was stripped off for the repaint. The reality is that something under the paint isn’t right with the aircraft. One thing that is clear is that it isn’t a safety issue, it is something that is expected to happen within the life cycle of the aircraft but it is happening too soon for Qatar’s liking. I think thats a fair concern to have. The issue now is that Qatar is clearly not getting anywhere with Airbus and are now taking their spat out in public, and refusing to fly the aircraft on which they are finding the issue.


Exposure of the wire mesh is a safety issue.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:52 pm

Revelation wrote:
zeke wrote:
Revelation wrote:
If the paint's not sticking it's because the surface below the paint is degrading it would seem.

Paint is not applied to composites, between the paint layer which has the livery, and the underlying composite part there are multiple layers.

"Surface below the paint" is the wording QR's spokesperson chose to use, as did I.



To be clear, Al Baker has specifically denied it is only about paintwork. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-ea ... 021-06-03/


.Key Quote: "The ball is in their court to fix the problem we have with them, and it is up to them to resolve this as soon as possible before things can get a bit out of hand," Al Baker added.

He declined to give specifics, but denied a Reuters report that the dispute concerned A350 paintwork.
 
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3rdGen
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:23 am

sxf24 wrote:
3rdGen wrote:
It cannot be just the paint not sticking. If that was the case why was the problem not found out until after the paint was stripped off for the repaint. The reality is that something under the paint isn’t right with the aircraft. One thing that is clear is that it isn’t a safety issue, it is something that is expected to happen within the life cycle of the aircraft but it is happening too soon for Qatar’s liking. I think thats a fair concern to have. The issue now is that Qatar is clearly not getting anywhere with Airbus and are now taking their spat out in public, and refusing to fly the aircraft on which they are finding the issue.


Exposure of the wire mesh is a safety issue.


How are you so certain that the issue is with the wire mesh? And if it is a safety issue why are 100s of A350s still flying? Why hasn't a major regulator like EASA issued a grounding of the aircraft worldwide. The first aircraft with the issue was discovered in January.
 
sxf24
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:44 am

3rdGen wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
3rdGen wrote:
It cannot be just the paint not sticking. If that was the case why was the problem not found out until after the paint was stripped off for the repaint. The reality is that something under the paint isn’t right with the aircraft. One thing that is clear is that it isn’t a safety issue, it is something that is expected to happen within the life cycle of the aircraft but it is happening too soon for Qatar’s liking. I think thats a fair concern to have. The issue now is that Qatar is clearly not getting anywhere with Airbus and are now taking their spat out in public, and refusing to fly the aircraft on which they are finding the issue.


Exposure of the wire mesh is a safety issue.


How are you so certain that the issue is with the wire mesh? And if it is a safety issue why are 100s of A350s still flying? Why hasn't a major regulator like EASA issued a grounding of the aircraft worldwide. The first aircraft with the issue was discovered in January.


I have consistently heard that wire mesh is exposed. It’s not clear if this is endemic to the program or some deficiency with these airplanes.
 
2175301
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Re: Qatar Airways has grounded 13 A350’s at the request of the Qatar Aviation regulator

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:01 am

The thing that I don't understand is that if it is exposed wire mesh... why would stripping the aircraft of paint and primer layers expose the mesh?

I wonder if the surface of the panels have degraded by various mechanisms that its clear that it could expose the mesh on the next repainting?
 
rbavfan
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Re: Qatar Airways grounds 13 A350’s

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:27 am

jbs2886 wrote:
morrisond wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
That’s what it seems. But I’m wondering what this means for the jet. I’m assuming it has no effect on the safety of the aircraft?


Generally they don`t ground something unless it is an immediate safety concern - but given the Airline and personalities involved - this could be posturing and a way to reduce costs at a time when cash is scarce.


That would make sense if Qatar weren't bringing retired A330s back into service, which can't be zero cost. If Qatar cancelled flights/adjusted it schedule to compensate for 13 fewer aircraft, sure, but that isn't the case. I'm not saying politics aren't involved or to what extent they are driving what is happening.


They already own the paid off A330's & B77W's. While grounded they do not have to make payments (most likely) on the A350's. So it could save money.
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