I agree, the customer always wins. At the end of the day there aren't too many other customers willing to buy 25-35 wide body freighters.
I agree that customers always win in the short-term. I am less than 100% certain this holds true in the long term.
To me it's interesting that it was Airbus that first threatened legal action yet it was QR that went ahead and took legal action. IMO Airbus is on their back foot at this point.
I think you are reading too much into who filed first. The ONLY thing Airbus could have even sued for was defamation and that is exceedingly difficult to prove, value and win in court. And it is a very bad look for an oligopoly supplier to sue a customer. QR, on the other hand, had a much lower threshold to file and I am certain they sue suppliers as a matter of course. Any monkey of a lawyer could have drawn that lawsuit up with some basic calculations. I don't believe for one second that Airbus is "on the backfoot" in this lawsuit.
I will also point out the obvious...Airbus is a global company with over 130k employees, over $32 billion is cash on hand and revenues of $60ish billion/year. Qatar has about a third that many employees, $7 billion in cash on hand (thanks to cash infusions from the Qatari government) and the entire Qatar GdP is barely twice the revenues from Airbus. Airbus' resources and the countries that back it vs QR and the country that backs it isn't even in the same ballpark. Nobody is surprised it got to this and they are almost certainly well prepared for it. I know a thing or two about how large companies operate and there is zero chance anyone at Airbus was surprised and unprepared. You can believe whatever you want, but that is wishful thinking at best.
If they were forced during covid to take delivery, they did not have that as an option to save cost.
The leasing of additional a/c and bringing back a/c from the desert also works against this being strictly a cost-saving issue due to covid.
You are basically proving my point. They had no justifiable way to bow out of aircraft deliveries they didn't need, but they had to stem the tide. So they created this airworthiness issue and cloaked it via the regulator. Read Zeke's prior posts where he details the cost of lease payments on new A350s vs the lease cost of the used CX birds. Big cost savings to refuse new deliveries. They have 4 frames by my count that are built and ready to deliver that they are refusing and several more that are in production. And about 9 more that would be delivered this year and next. And then there is the not-so-minor issue of payments to Airbus they won't have to make without accepting deliveries...