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Flying-Tiger
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Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus filed defence and counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:43 am

Following the mod´s instruction to only post if real news are coming along this topic.

Airbus has launched it´s counter-claim against Qatar Airways in the A350 dispute.

Airbus has submitted a robust legal defence against Qatar Airways over the carrier’s grounding of several A350s, insisting the aircraft does not suffer from a design defect and that skin-paint deterioration is not an airworthiness issue.

The airframer has filed a defence and counterclaim in its legal dispute with the carrier, which asserts that Qatar Airways refused to pay the balance for, or take delivery of, two A350-1000s and, as a result, is in breach of contract.


https://www.flightglobal.com/airlines/airbus-rejects-qatar-claims-for-compensation-over-a350-grounding/147730.article

* Seeks damage for 220 million USD for two non-delivered A350-1000
* Seeks reimbursement of purchase incentives granted for the 80 A350 order
* Paint cracking and foil layer damage attributed to thermal expansion
* Airbus and EASA found no airworthyness defects nor defect in the aircraft´s design
* Rejects any claim for compensation from Qatar Airways
* Wants to resolve the situation amicably, but is prepared to defend its reputation in court

Pretty much what was to be expected from my point of view. It´s taken from FlightGlobal´s article, might be that in the official documents more can be found.
Last edited by SQ22 on Sun Mar 06, 2022 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title updated
 
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SQ22
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 8:21 am

Please discuss the news and do not derail this thread like the previous ones, otherwise the thread will be locked.
 
Ellofiend
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 8:23 am

It seems the battle lines were drawn regardless of STC's allegiance with AB and puts the ball in the carrier's court. My mind is a little more inclined to Airbus coming out on top in this dispute, methinks QR bit off more they could chew, expecting Airbus to accept the fault before it blew up in their face. From Airbus's perspective, this might just be the point at which they highlight that, unlike Boeing, they are very much capable of exercising legal leverage against carriers (particularly the ME3) from which it seems the most high-profile disputes arise, the ones that spill blood in a rather shark-infested industry. In my opinion, Boeing is on the floor just tanking the punches until the referee calls break, and while Airbus is definitely reeling, they are still very much capable of throwing their weight around against whichever opportunistic carriers decide to take a quick jab (if you'll excuse the extended metaphor).
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 8:49 am

Ellofiend wrote:
It seems the battle lines were drawn regardless of STC's allegiance with AB and puts the ball in the carrier's court. My mind is a little more inclined to Airbus coming out on top in this dispute, methinks QR bit off more they could chew, expecting Airbus to accept the fault before it blew up in their face. From Airbus's perspective, this might just be the point at which they highlight that, unlike Boeing, they are very much capable of exercising legal leverage against carriers (particularly the ME3) from which it seems the most high-profile disputes arise, the ones that spill blood in a rather shark-infested industry. In my opinion, Boeing is on the floor just tanking the punches until the referee calls break, and while Airbus is definitely reeling, they are still very much capable of throwing their weight around against whichever opportunistic carriers decide to take a quick jab (if you'll excuse the extended metaphor).


I tend to agree.

QR thought they could 'Karen' their way into getting all the concessions they wanted, which I see as the result of a gradual progression of their usual aggressive negotiation tactics against their suppliers.
The problem is that they went too far. The allegations they made targeted the very heart of AB as a manufacturer and seller of aircraft and sought to defame their core competences, potentially hurting their business with other customers.

I think AB will have no problem demonstrating that this wasn't an airworthiness issue and I doubt QR or the Qatari civil aviation have the ability to defend their airworthiness claim on technical grounds.
 
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HKAusFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 8:59 am

The detailed court filing by Airbus can be found here:
https://leehamnews.com/wp-content/uploa ... -25-22.pdf

A lot of new info appeared in Airbus's filing, which totalled 67 pages.

To summarise, I have recapped some important new points here:

- 4.3. During the aircraft manufacturing process, the ECF is embedded into a surfacing film which is then co-cured on to the CFRP. This means that the ECF layer forms an integral part of the airframe and that, following manufacture of the aircraft, it is not therefore practicable to remove and replace the ECF layer in its entirety (although, as explained below, the ECF layer can be repaired if it is damaged).

- 5.11.3. QTR has not carried out appropriate repairs and maintenance actions on the Grounded Aircraft for the Condition and/or Non MSN 36 Findings in accordance with the A350 ASR manual and/or QTR has not otherwise sought instructions from Airbus (or, so far as Airbus is aware, any other approved design organisation) in relation to the repairs and maintenance actions for the Grounded Aircraft, or other aircraft in the QTR A350 Fleet that are affected by Non MSN 36 Findings (if and insofar as repairs or maintenance actions in respect of any of Non MSN 36 Findings are not specifically covered by the A350 ASR manual).

- 9.2.3. As to this surface degradation, it is admitted that 8 specific findings were identified on MSN 36 and categorised (as set out in paragraph 8 of the Particulars of Claim), but it is averred that some of these findings were significantly caused and/or contributed to by the chemical paint stripping and/or mechanical abrasion process to which had been applied to MSN 36. In particular, it is noted that no ECF was reported as missing from MSN 36 prior to the stripping and abrasion process in Shannon.

- 9.3. It is denied (if it is alleged) that the findings identified on MSN 36, so far as they extended to the ECF layer, would affect the functional performance of the ECF in protecting the aircraft and its systems from the effects of lightning strikes and other sources of in-flight electrical charges. In this regard, even after the stripping and abrasion process applied to MSN 36, just 0.60% of the ECF layer was exposed and just 0.18% of the ECF was missing. It is averred that up to 40% of an aircraft’s ECF would need to be missing in order for this significantly to reduce the margin of conductivity.

- 11. Paragraph 9 is admitted. Airbus also proposed to QTR that the allowable damage limit in the A350 ASR manual could be increased from 200mm2 to 1000mm2 to reduce significantly the number of patch repairs on MSN 36. QTR unreasonably rejected this proposal (which will in any event be incorporated into the ASR manual in March 2022). In any event, the number and extent of the patch repairs that were required on MSN 36 was significantly increased by the chemical stripping and mechanical abrasion process which MSN 36 underwent, which was contrary to Airbus’ recommendations.

- 13.3.3. It is denied, however, that the issues reported by Finnair were instances of the Condition (which was first identified by Airbus when it inspected MSN 36 in Shannon), or Non MSN 36 Findings

- 13.4. In relation to the fifth and sixth sentences, paragraphs 2 and 5 above are repeated. Save as aforesaid, the fifth and sixth sentences are denied. Without prejudice to the generality of this denial, save for instances of rivet rash (which has been a well-known phenomenon on aircraft, not limited to the A350 or composite aircraft), Airbus had no knowledge of the novel findings comprising the Condition prior to inspecting MSN 36 in Shannon in or about November 2020. The paint issues which had previously been reported by Finnair related to rivet rash and issues arising from processes carried out in the course of in-production reworks. Further and in any event, the Condition does not affect the airworthiness or safety of the A350 and other airlines which have observed findings on A350s that are similar to the Condition have addressed those findings in accordance with the A350 ASR manual and/or as has been recommended to them by Airbus.

- 15.7. Paragraph 13.7 is admitted (although the AOG Amount as at the date hereof is now USD 206,500 (2022)). Further details of Airbus’ case as to the proper construction of the SCL are set out in paragraph 16 below.


- 15.8.3. By clause 3.3.3, it was agreed, in summary, that where Condition Inspections and Repairs resulted in extended scheduled operational availability beyond the scheduled (maintenance) event and where this was as a result of the Condition, Airbus would be liable to pay escalated Non-Excusable Delay Compensation (as defined in the A350 ASPA). However, clause 3.3.4 clarified that such compensation was not payable in respect of (1) any period of time unrelated to the Condition Inspections and Repairs, or (2) any period of time resulting from the failure by QTR to provide Airbus with the scheduled maintenance planning or to provide adequate access to the Aircraft.

- 16.2.1. On the proper construction of clause 3.2.1(i), AOG compensation is only payable in respect of an Aircraft if:
(1) The Aircraft is not airworthy (i.e. it is “unserviceable”) as a result of the Condition as found on MSN 36 in the sense that it is objectively incapable of being flown for safety reasons; and
(2) The Aircraft is grounded as a result of the lack of airworthiness that is caused by the Condition as found on MSN 36 (in the sense that this was the effective cause of the Aircraft being grounded) and/or the Aircraft is properly declared to be unserviceable as a result of a lack of airworthiness that is caused by the Condition.

- 17.3. Airbus provided the results of this work to QTR in 8 detailed memoranda dated between 29 January 2021 and 2 July 2021 for each of the findings on MSN 36 in respect of which Airbus agreed, by clause 2 of the SCL, to provide a full root cause analysis to QTR (“the RCA Memoranda”). The RCA Memoranda correctly set out the root cause(s) of the aspect(s) of the Condition they addressed.

- 18.1. In April 2021, Airbus started a fleet-wide investigation in relation to surface degradation on A350s generally. The objective of this fleet-wide investigation is to identify potential enhancements which might address or mitigate this issue. This forms part of Airbus’ continuous improvement approach and is ongoing.

- 18.3. In July 2021, Airbus representatives surveyed 12 other aircraft in the QTR A350 Fleet that were affected by Non MSN 36 Findings and produced a detailed 288-page survey report dated 10 September 2021 (“the September Report”). The September Report stated: “Airbus has completed and provided to QTR the root cause analysis in respect of the conditions.” The September Report concluded:

- 18.3.1. The findings observed on these aircraft were of the same type as those observed on MSN 36 and that no new types of findings had been discovered so that Airbus’ airworthiness assessment remained valid.

- 18.3.2. In accordance with the A350 ASR manual, all findings on these aircraft were within the allowable damage limits and/or could be resolved by QTR, if and insofar as necessary, during scheduled maintenance.

- 20.3. Airbus did not carry out “a review and critique of structural analysis” for the purposes of the RCA Memoranda, but it was not necessary for this work to be done as part of the root cause analysis. However, Airbus did analyse whether the Condition might have any impact on the structural integrity of the aircraft for its assessment of the airworthiness of MSN 36. Airbus communicated the outcome of this assessment to QTR (i.e. that there was no airworthiness issue).

- 21.1.1. As to the first sentence, it is admitted that the memorandum identified that the root cause of spider cracks was the different thermal expansion coefficients between the composite structure and paint system, which led, under thermal cycling and mechanical loads, to the creation of spider cracks in the paint system. The memorandum also set out a number of other contributing factors to this aspect of the Condition.

- 21.2. In relation to sub-paragraph 18.2, this memorandum analysed the root cause of the “Primer Cracks Condition” as defined in the SCL, namely miniscule cracks identified after paint stripping at step discontinuities of the livery. Further:

- 21.2.1. In relation to the first sentence, the memorandum sets out clearly that the root causes of these cracks (most of which were miniscule) are the stress peak at the step discontinuities between the liveried and non-liveried areas, combined with the different thermal properties of the basecoat and clearcoat such that “together with the internal stresses created by the differences in the thermal expansion co-efficient of the primer relative to the underlying composite structure, a crack appears at the paint surface”. It is specifically denied that this was a merely a hypothesis or that it was asserted without “any substantiation to prove the theory”: the memorandum refers in terms to having confirmed the stress concentrations at the step discontinuities through a paint system finite-element model simulation and to thermal shock cycling testing which substantiated the root cause finding set out in the memorandum.

- 21.3.1. This memorandum analysed the root cause of the cracking seen around the window frames on MSN 36. In this regard:

(1) The memorandum noted that cross-sections of two windows made by different manufacturers had confirmed a variability in resin layer thickness. The memorandum also recorded that cracks were observed in resin-rich and resin-poor areas, and that “these phenomena were replicated and confirmed through lab testing”.
(2) The memorandum concluded that “the root cause of the window frame deterioration seen on MSN 36 is the variability of the brittle resin thickness linked to the manufacturing process. This leads to the creation and propagation of cracks where the resin in either too thick (brittleness) or too thin (insufficient material to sustain the stresses from ECF expansion).” The cracking arises as a result of thermal loads around the window frame area.

- 21.4.1. This memorandum analysed the root cause of certain marks identified on section 15, section 19 and Door 1 of MSN 36. In this regard:

(1) The memorandum referred to the type of marks observed and also the conclusions and contents of the memoranda related to the root causes of Spider Cracks and Primer Cracks (see paragraphs 21.1 and 21.2 above).
(2) The memorandum concluded that thermal shock testing had confirmed that the initiation, length and orientation of the cracks was related to features of the ECF layer, and that lab testing of numerous samples had confirmed that three other factors played an aggravating role in this aspect of the Condition (namely clearcoat and primer thickness, resin composition and basecoat colour).
(3) The memorandum found that the initial “crazing cracks” provide an entrance for moisture, condensation and other fluids that could lead to an oxidation of the ECF and a reduction of the adhesion between the ECF layer and the surrounding resin.

- Indeed paragraph 18.4 omits to mention that a separate memorandum was prepared to address the root cause of ECF oxidation, involving exposure of samples of ECF to ambient factors, as well as energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis of the oxidised area. That memorandum concluded that the ECF was oxidised as a result of ambient exposure, although it could be accelerated by chemical paint stripping (such as that to which MSN 36 had been exposed), and was a result of the other damage to the paint on MSN 36, and not a root cause of that damage.

- (2) Airbus proposed to carry out appropriate repairs and maintenance actions on MSN 36 in Shannon to address the Condition in December 2020 (as to which see paragraphs 5.12.1 and 11 above).

- (3) However, QTR refused to permit those repairs and maintenance actions to be carried out and QTR instead required a full damage mapping exercise and root cause analysis to be completed by Airbus before permitting them to be carried out on MSN 36.

- (4) It is admitted that Airbus agreed to carry out a full damage mapping exercise to determine the full extent and severity of the Condition, so far as it affected MSN 36, as QTR had required. This damage mapping exercise was not necessary to address the Condition and/or for the repairs and maintenance actions to be completed.

- (5) Airbus has been ready, willing and able to carry out the proposed repairs and maintenance actions to MSN 36 at all times since December 2020. However, they cannot be carried out by Airbus unless and until QTR in its capacity as CAMO holder has agreed to the proposed repairs and maintenance actions and given delegated contractual authority to Airbus to issue the Certificate of Release.

- 29.2.9. In relation to paragraph 26.9:
(1) It is admitted that Airbus proposed to carry out various repairs and maintenance actions to address the Condition on MSN 36 in or about December 2020 and thereafter that QTR has claimed that the proposed repairs and maintenance actions are not acceptable.
(2) It is also admitted that the repairs proposed by Airbus in relation to MSN 36 included approximately 900 patch repairs on different areas of the aircraft and that this is a larger number of patches than would typically have been expected on an aircraft over its life. However, the patch repairs proposed by Airbus for MSN 36 cover only a small proportion of the surface area of the aircraft.

(a) the number of patch repairs was significantly increased by the stripping and abrasion process which MSN 36 underwent, contrary to Airbus’ recommendations; and/or
(b) the number of patch repairs on MSN 36 could be reduced if QTR had not unreasonably refused to increase the allowable damage limits in the A350 ASR manual as Airbus proposed.


- 30.2.3. On or about 15 April 2021, EASA produced a report of the findings of its independent investigation of the Condition. A copy of this report was provided to QTR and the QCAA. The report stated (inter alia):

“Based on the reviewed data, the defects on MSN 36 are limited to the paint layers and ECF. There is no evidence of the degradation of the structural function of the composite skin, i.e. crack findings or delamination of the structural CFRP, and no other risks such as EMH from lightning strikes. It is not expected that similar defects on other A350 aircraft would result in a different assessment.”

- 30.4. As to the QCAA’s purported reasons set out in the 17 June Letter:

30.4.1. A level 1 finding pursuant to MA 905 of the Annex to QCAR 1003 requires a finding of serious non-compliance with the requirements of Part M which in fact lowers the safety standard and seriously endangers the flight safety. This is to be contrasted with a level 2 finding which is a finding that may lower the safety standard and may seriously endanger the flight safety. However, the 17 June Letter failed to explain or justify any conclusion that a level 1 finding was appropriate.

30.4.2. In particular, the 17 June Letter failed to identify any non-compliance with the requirements of Part M. Further or alternatively, the 17 June Letter failed to identify or explain how or why any such non-compliance was “serious” and/or how or why it lowered the safety standard or endangered the flight safety at all (still less “seriously”).

30.4.3. On the contrary, the 17 June Letter is inconsistent with a level 1 finding in that the ARC suspensions were described therein as a “precautionary measure” on the basis that the impact of the Condition and/or Non MSN 36 Findings on the airworthiness of the affected Aircraft was “unknown” and the 17 June Letter only goes so far as to speculate, without further explanation or justification, that “the safe condition of the affected aircraft may be compromised”.


30.4.4. The 17 June Letter does not refer to or address Airbus’ presentations or EASA’s findings (of which both QTR and the QCAA were aware and to which the QCAA had expressly referred in the 14 June Letter).

30.4.5. The 17 June Letter merely reproduced the purported concerns of QTR (as expressed by QTR to the QCAA in the 26 May Letter) that Airbus had not completed a root cause analysis for the Condition and that no permanent repair had been proposed, without any explanation of how this might affect airworthiness and/or justify a level 1 finding. Neither in fact affects airworthiness or justifies any level 1 finding.

30.4.6. The reference to “the non-availability of approved data” in the 17 June Letter is not understood. In this regard, as set out in paragraphs 5.10 to 5.13 above, Airbus (as manufacturer and DOA holder) has identified and proposed to QTR appropriate repair and maintenance actions for the Condition on MSN 36 and for Non MSN 36 Findings on some other aircraft in the QTR A350 Fleet. These are “repair design solutions” which have or would become “approved data” upon the issuance by Airbus of a Repair & Design Approval Form in respect thereof. Further or alternatively, the QTR A350 Fleet should be repaired and maintained in accordance with the “approved data” which are set out in the A350 ASR manual.


- 30.6.2. A letter from EASA’s Executive Director to the QCAA on 1 October 2021 stating that:
(1) EASA “could not identify a potential unsafe condition that would affect the safety of the inspected aircraft”;
(2) EASA was not “worried with respect to the structural integrity, nor concerned by the required protection against effects of direct lightning”; and
(3) EASA had “taken the action to investigate with Airbus the design definition of the painting and production process to understand what needs to be improved to prevent this accelerated degradation, but this is not related to the normal continuing airworthiness process indicated above.”
 
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reidar76
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:24 am

Leehamnews.com has published the entire legal defence document:
https://leehamnews.com/wp-content/uploa ... -25-22.pdf

Lot's of interesting bits there. We now know why Airbus cancelled the two completed A350s, that Qatar didn't take delivery of. According to the document, Qatar must take delivery within 7 days after the aircraft is ready for delivery. Failing to do so is a breach of contract.

So why did Airbus cancel the two aircraft instead of waiting for the issues to be resolved? The answer is in the document. Qatar will only get its discounts if it accually takes delivery of all 80 A350s originally ordered. With two A350 cancelled, all discount credits is of the table.
 
accentra
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 10:21 am

Many thanks to HKAusFkyer for the excellent work on pulling out the relevant parts of the Airbus defence/counter claim.

There are some very interesting points in it. I was particularly drawn to the references to the paint removal techniques employed in Shannon: 'No ECF was reported as missing from MSN 36 prior to the stripping and abrasion process in Shannon'. Was Shannon not following Airbus-approved paint stripping techniques?

If so, I have to posit that that could be the perfect 'get out of jail'/'face saving' card for both parties, with essentially a 'let's blame it on Shannon' outcome and then have them figure out a way to move on from this? Clearly this whole issue is way more complex than that. But it could be the convenient means to allow a de-escalation.

That aside, all things considered, and all points noted, my feeling is that Airbus has a pretty robust defence here.
 
Gar1G
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:24 am

Thanks for posting the full document!

Some thoughts I had:
- What further information does QR want in order to say that they have a full "root cause analysis"?
- Seems that Airbus believe that there are 350s currently flying that have cracked paint but yet have NOT been grounded
- I don't think we can put full blame on Shannon stripping process as the other aircraft affected didn't go through that (but there does seem to be a clear distinguishing between MSN36 and non-MSN36)
- If I read the doc correctly, it seemed that Airbus are essentially saying "The paint will crack. It's inevitable of CRFP aircraft" so would indicate there isn't necessarily a fix for such an occurrence apart from repainting during maintenance.
- Many were believing that the QR issues were faced by other airlines but this document plainly states that the Finnair paint issues were not the same.
 
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reidar76
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:28 am

accentra wrote:
Was Shannon not following Airbus-approved paint stripping techniques?


According to Airbus (quote from the legal document):
"MSN 36 was subjected to chemical paint stripping and mechanical
abrasion processes at QTR’s request while it was in Shannon in order to prepare MSN 36 for repainting. However, the chemical paint stripping and mechanical abrasion went beyond Airbus' recommendations."


In other words, Shannon didn't follow the OEM approved process.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:39 am

reidar76 wrote:
In other words, Shannon didn't follow the OEM approved process.


That theme has been repeated over and over again in the document.
 
Noshow
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:40 am

So Airbus admits the conductive mesh got (slightly) damaged but this is far from where any functional problems could arise. Meaning not safety relevant.
Is the root cause of the damage considered to be a heat problem? Like parking in the desert sun or similar?
 
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reidar76
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:41 am

According to the Airbus document, the paint thickness
on some Qatar delivered aircraft was exceeding the engineering specification. This was done on the request from Qatar, with the documentation updated to show that the paint layers was to thick in certain areas. Thicker paint layers will be more prone to cracking.

Quote from the document:
"In this regard, it is averred that, on occasion, the aircraft delivered to QTR have been repainted prior to delivery, at QTR’s request and/or to enhance their cosmetic appearance, and that this may have resulted in the paint thickness exceeding the engineering specification. Airbus provides QTR with a production quality report for each A350 aircraft that it delivers which includes details of the average total paint thickness. It is noted that QTR has accepted delivery of a number of A350 aircraft in the knowledge that the paint thickness was outside ‘in service’ tolerance levels."
 
accentra
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:52 am

Gar1G wrote:
Thanks for posting the full document!

Some thoughts I had:
- What further information does QR want in order to say that they have a full "root cause analysis"?
- Seems that Airbus believe that there are 350s currently flying that have cracked paint but yet have NOT been grounded
- I don't think we can put full blame on Shannon stripping process as the other aircraft affected didn't go through that (but there does seem to be a clear distinguishing between MSN36 and non-MSN36)
- If I read the doc correctly, it seemed that Airbus are essentially saying "The paint will crack. It's inevitable of CRFP aircraft" so would indicate there isn't necessarily a fix for such an occurrence apart from repainting during maintenance.
- Many were believing that the QR issues were faced by other airlines but this document plainly states that the Finnair paint issues were not the same.


Just to be clear, I wasn't implying that this is all Shannon's fault, as there are obviously other frames affected that never went to Shannon. However, the Shannon issue could be a super convenient get out to let AAB gracefully climb down from this without losing too much face. We'll see.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:55 am

Clearly QR was not flying aircraft around with bits of metal sticking out of the CRPF, as had previously been suggested.

Some of these issues seem trivial - 21.2.1 regarding cracking between various layers of and boundaries between paint types.

New to me is 21.3.1 cracking around windows due to manufacturing irregularities. I did not see in this summary a repair proposal for this. This may not be as serious as it sounds to anyone aware of the causes of DH Comet crashes in the 1950s.

Regarding relaxation of the "allowable damage limits" from 200mm squared to 1000mm squared, is this a fudge or a normal change reflecting operational experience on a new technology frame?
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:02 pm

allowable damage limit in the A350 ASR manual could be increased from 200mm2 to 1000mm2


Allowing additional 400% allowable damage in order to reduce the repairing works required sound crazy for me.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:04 pm

I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:44 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.



This is not a counter suit, it is the Airbus response to the action between Airbus and Qatar Airways. QR responded to the action they brought by handing in their documents to court and Airbus had time to respond. This is their response filed in court. There is still time to avoid having the court decide as both have now replied, but this is what both sides will present when appearing at the court.

As for people taking this as gospel, seems that ship sailed when QR filed their documents and posters were talking about design defects and maligning posters for saying QR were not following Airbus maintenance guidelines. But this is normal for this site, we pick a side and we fight that corner. Welcome to internet discussion sites and a-net is not immune to it.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:48 pm

reidar76 wrote:
Quote from the document:
"In this regard, it is averred that, on occasion, the aircraft delivered to QTR have been repainted prior to delivery, at QTR’s request and/or to enhance their cosmetic appearance, and that this may have resulted in the paint thickness exceeding the engineering specification. Airbus provides QTR with a production quality report for each A350 aircraft that it delivers which includes details of the average total paint thickness. It is noted that QTR has accepted delivery of a number of A350 aircraft in the knowledge that the paint thickness was outside ‘in service’ tolerance levels."


That is a very interesting new detail...
 
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scbriml
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:58 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.


This isn’t a “counter suit”, it’s Airbus’ response to QR’s suit. It’s not unreasonable to accept their points as factual, unless you’re accusing them of lying to the court?
 
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HKAusFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:15 pm

scbriml wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.


This isn’t a “counter suit”, it’s Airbus’ response to QR’s suit. It’s not unreasonable to accept their points as factual, unless you’re accusing them of lying to the court?


It'll be very interesting to see how Qatar, since the burden of proof is on the claimant, produces more rigorous and meticulous engineering analysis than Airbus with data, that this surface degradation is an airworthiness issue.

The law operates in a binary system beyond reasonable doubt, and for Qatar's claims and compensation remedies to stand, they need to demonstrate it with overwhelming evidence.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:18 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
Regarding relaxation of the "allowable damage limits" from 200mm squared to 1000mm squared, is this a fudge or a normal change reflecting operational experience on a new technology frame?


This sort of thing is very common, when new aircraft enter service they tend to have very conservative margins which are then evaluated against in service data.

The difference here is going from a circle of 8 mm radius to 18 mm.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:33 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.


Humbly I would disagree, the facts that Airbus counter sued were the non delivery and non final payment of two A350-1000 aircraft. Those facts are not in dispute.

Qatar in their filing asked for an injunction against further deliveries, however an injunction was not granted at the time they decided not to accept the aircraft. The contractural provisions were still in force. Airbus stated they followed the contractural provisions in the event of the non delivery of A350s to Qatar.

The non delivery of those aircraft triggered the clauses for cancellation of the A350 incentive payment and A321 order. Both of those according to the filing required delivery of 80 A350s.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:33 pm

zeke wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
Regarding relaxation of the "allowable damage limits" from 200mm squared to 1000mm squared, is this a fudge or a normal change reflecting operational experience on a new technology frame?


This sort of thing is very common, when new aircraft enter service they tend to have very conservative margins which are then evaluated against in service data.

The difference here is going from a circle of 8 mm radius to 18 mm.


The new allowed damage limit is 25x as large as the old.

Old: 0.2m X 0.2m equals 0.04 sq m

New: 1m X 1m equals 1 sq m

1 divided by 0.04 equals 25
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:44 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
The new allowed damage limit is 25x as large as the old.

Old: 0.2m X 0.2m equals 0.04 sq m

New: 1m X 1m equals 1 sq m

1 divided by 0.04 equals 25


Incorrect, it’s 200 sq.mm, not 200mmx200mm which is 40,000 sq.mm.

200 sq.mm is a circle of just under 8mm in radius, smaller than an adult human finger cross section. The new one is 1000 sq.mm which is smaller than the cross section of a golf ball.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 3:42 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
zeke wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
Regarding relaxation of the "allowable damage limits" from 200mm squared to 1000mm squared, is this a fudge or a normal change reflecting operational experience on a new technology frame?


This sort of thing is very common, when new aircraft enter service they tend to have very conservative margins which are then evaluated against in service data.

The difference here is going from a circle of 8 mm radius to 18 mm.


The new allowed damage limit is 25x as large as the old.

Old: 0.2m X 0.2m equals 0.04 sq m

New: 1m X 1m equals 1 sq m

1 divided by 0.04 equals 25


You may want to revisit 8th grade math, there...
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:00 pm

This is a direct copy and paste from the quoted text:

"the A350 ASR manual could be increased from 200mm2 to 1000mm2"

I read that as 200 millimetres (0.2 metres) squared NOT 200 square millimetres. I do find the mathematical presentation a bit strange, which introduces some ambiguity, but I remain unconvinced that my interpretation is wrong (and I think my 8th grade self would have agreed with the older me).
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:23 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
This is a direct copy and paste from the quoted text:

"the A350 ASR manual could be increased from 200mm2 to 1000mm2"

I read that as 200 millimetres (0.2 metres) squared NOT 200 square millimetres. I do find the mathematical presentation a bit strange, which introduces some ambiguity, but I remain unconvinced that my interpretation is wrong (and I think my 8th grade self would have agreed with the older me).

Nope. In ISO standard, "mm2" means "square millimeter", abbreviated "sq.mm" in the US.
Those using the metric system rarely quote areas as "200 millimeter squared" (meaning, a square of 200 x 200 mm).
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:31 pm

That's how area has always been written in metric units as far as I'm aware...

200mm2 is a square about 14mm a side (just over half an inch), 1000mm2 is a square about 31mm a side (1 1/4 inch). It doesn't seem too shocking when talking about an airplane of this size.

Though to be fair, Airbus did say that they identified over 900 such patches which needed fixing and said that this was more than what would be expected for an aircraft this age. But then this was for MSN 36 which had the 'problematic' paint stripping.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:32 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
JerseyFlyer wrote:
This is a direct copy and paste from the quoted text:

"the A350 ASR manual could be increased from 200mm2 to 1000mm2"

I read that as 200 millimetres (0.2 metres) squared NOT 200 square millimetres. I do find the mathematical presentation a bit strange, which introduces some ambiguity, but I remain unconvinced that my interpretation is wrong (and I think my 8th grade self would have agreed with the older me).

Nope. In ISO standard, "mm2" means "square millimeter", abbreviated "sq.mm" in the US.
Those using the metric system rarely quote areas as "200 millimeter squared" (meaning, a square of 200 x 200 mm).


Thanks for your helpful explanation, I was not aware of this ISO standard presentation.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 5:23 pm

Seeing as the A350 has been flying for years now with quite a few operators and only one has had this issue, and the CEO of that airline has established a reputation for being excessively picky, I am definitely of the opinion that QR has overstepped here. In the process they have squandered millions of dollars by keeping their A350s (I am not sure whether it is some or all of them) needlessly grounded, and piled up legal (and probably illegal, I.e. bribe) fees as well. At this point, whether or not they prevail they have probably poisoned their relationship with Airbus to the point that Airbus will refuse to sell them another plane as long as Al Baker is there. This is very bad for the airline, as it leaves them with only one supplier. And I would expect Boeing to hike their bid prices (maybe even to list) in anticipation of similar difficulties. And without trying to analyze the details posted by HKAusFlyer above I think that Airbus is likely to prevail simply because no other airline seems to have similar complaints. And if indeed QR did use unapproved chemicals and methods in stripping the plane in question then Airbus absolutely should prevail. QR may have a rocky road ahead of it.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 6:54 pm

The most important bit of information to me is the fact that Airbus is confirming the ECF layer is cured along with the CFRP and it is not practical to replace the entire ECF layer.

This seems perfectly reasonable to me and what many here have said for months. As a consequence, if the ECF layer is affected it will need spot repair along with any paint peeling that is occurring. Again, to me, very reasonable.

My speculation is QR wants a permanent solution (i.e. stripping down to the CFRP) and a complete redo of the entire surface. Under the circumstances, that does not sound reasonable from Airbus' point of view. I make no guesses as to the litigation, but I understand Airbus' position and again, I think it is understandable.
 
aaexecplat
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:39 pm

Thanks to HKAusFlyer for lifting the most salient points out of the court filing. Here are some of my takeaways:

1) I have not read the Airbus court filing but I assume they submitted the supporting documentation such as root cause analysis, engineering reports, communication with QR engineering and management etc. I can't imagine they would list of all of those and then not add support to their claims.

2) It is interesting that they detail QR asking for greater paint thickness against their advice and that they mention the chemical and mechanical paint stripping specifically requested by QR in contravention to their OEM instructions/processes. And the claim that prior to stripping, no mesh damage was present (again...I assume they have proof of that)? This is some really salient stuff. Airbus advised QR against the paint layer thickness and were asked to deliver planes that did not meet the paint thickness recommendations. Then QR asked Shannon to specifically strip chemically and mechanically in a way that Airbus does not sanction.

3) Also interesting that they admit there is paint cracking issue but that the Finnair damage is NOT the same as the QR damage.

4) I remember a lot of posters here claiming Airbus had been "mailing it in" in terms of their response to QR's claims, and I think based on this filing which details a several hundred-page root cause analysis, lab testing, environmental simulations, fleet-wide inspections, communications with QR etc, etc, we can safely assume that Airbus has not only taken QR's complaints quite seriously, but they have tried to get to the bottom of the issue, satisfy their customer and done their due diligence.

In sum total, if Airbus has proof that they have completed all the steps they have taken (caveat here), I see no chance of QR prevailing in court. I did look at the QR court docs they provided in their lawsuit and all I remember are basic claims, but not seeing any engineering analysis or reports to back their claims. Not only may they not get any compensation, but it is quite possible they may owe compensation and lose the 320NEO contract, afterall. And I don't know if this case has the potential to open QR up to other lawsuits. I have no idea what AAB's strategy is, but based on seeing the original filing and today's response and countersuit, QR's position looks quite precarious IMO.
 
smartplane
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:00 pm

zeke wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
I don't see the excitement here. Counter-suing is what firms do when sued. Airbus' claims are just that - CLAIMS - which (if this goes to trial) will be evaluated by the Court against the claims of Qatar. Airbus' claims are not immediately accepted as objective fact, in contrast to the treatment received in this thread.


Humbly I would disagree, the facts that Airbus counter sued were the non delivery and non final payment of two A350-1000 aircraft. Those facts are not in dispute.

Qatar in their filing asked for an injunction against further deliveries, however an injunction was not granted at the time they decided not to accept the aircraft. The contractural provisions were still in force. Airbus stated they followed the contractural provisions in the event of the non delivery of A350s to Qatar.

The non delivery of those aircraft triggered the clauses for cancellation of the A350 incentive payment and A321 order. Both of those according to the filing required delivery of 80 A350s.

And not only the incentive payments (retrospective credits) for the total A350 order (some will already have accrued to QR, but these payments are not straight line - the last 10 accrue more than the first 70 combined).

Almost certainly, the A321 order retrospective credits will be linked / contiguous, with the A350 order, likely magnifying credits accruing on both orders.

What QR want, is for the court to rule the airline can delay A350 deliveries because of 'issues' (or cancel if the 'issues' can't be resolved) with no impact on retrospective credits accruing on the A350 order, so accrue as if all 80 had been delivered, AND for the linked retrospective credits on the A321 order, to also accrue as if all the A321' s were delivered (QR want those), AND all the A350 orders were delivered.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:16 pm

aaexecplat wrote:
1) I have not read the Airbus court filing but I assume they submitted the supporting documentation such as root cause analysis, engineering reports, communication with QR engineering and management etc. I can't imagine they would list of all of those and then not add support to their claims.


There were no such attachments to the filing, however all the items referenced by Airbus in the filing with the exception of the finnair data (which is not relevant to the QR contract as they are not a party to the court proceedings), Qatar appear to already have copies of.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:21 pm

smartplane wrote:
What QR want, is for the court to rule the airline can delay A350 deliveries because of 'issues' (or cancel if the 'issues' can't be resolved) with no impact on retrospective credits accruing on the A350 order, so accrue as if all 80 had been delivered, AND for the linked retrospective credits on the A321 order, to also accrue as if all the A321' s were delivered (QR want those), AND all the A350 orders were delivered.


They may desire such things however without a court order modifying the terms of the contract, the original contract terms are still in force.
 
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:32 am

SEPilot wrote:
Seeing as the A350 has been flying for years now with quite a few operators and only one has had this issue, and the CEO of that airline has established a reputation for being excessively picky, I am definitely of the opinion that QR has overstepped here. In the process they have squandered millions of dollars by keeping their A350s (I am not sure whether it is some or all of them) needlessly grounded, and piled up legal (and probably illegal, I.e. bribe) fees as well. At this point, whether or not they prevail they have probably poisoned their relationship with Airbus to the point that Airbus will refuse to sell them another plane as long as Al Baker is there. This is very bad for the airline, as it leaves them with only one supplier. And I would expect Boeing to hike their bid prices (maybe even to list) in anticipation of similar difficulties. And without trying to analyze the details posted by HKAusFlyer above I think that Airbus is likely to prevail simply because no other airline seems to have similar complaints. And if indeed QR did use unapproved chemicals and methods in stripping the plane in question then Airbus absolutely should prevail. QR may have a rocky road ahead of it.


Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.
 
oldJoe
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:47 am

hongkongflyer wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
Seeing as the A350 has been flying for years now with quite a few operators and only one has had this issue, and the CEO of that airline has established a reputation for being excessively picky, I am definitely of the opinion that QR has overstepped here. In the process they have squandered millions of dollars by keeping their A350s (I am not sure whether it is some or all of them) needlessly grounded, and piled up legal (and probably illegal, I.e. bribe) fees as well. At this point, whether or not they prevail they have probably poisoned their relationship with Airbus to the point that Airbus will refuse to sell them another plane as long as Al Baker is there. This is very bad for the airline, as it leaves them with only one supplier. And I would expect Boeing to hike their bid prices (maybe even to list) in anticipation of similar difficulties. And without trying to analyze the details posted by HKAusFlyer above I think that Airbus is likely to prevail simply because no other airline seems to have similar complaints. And if indeed QR did use unapproved chemicals and methods in stripping the plane in question then Airbus absolutely should prevail. QR may have a rocky road ahead of it.


Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.


Many airlines ??? Please show sources for your claim please !!!
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:53 am

hongkongflyer wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
Seeing as the A350 has been flying for years now with quite a few operators and only one has had this issue, and the CEO of that airline has established a reputation for being excessively picky, I am definitely of the opinion that QR has overstepped here. In the process they have squandered millions of dollars by keeping their A350s (I am not sure whether it is some or all of them) needlessly grounded, and piled up legal (and probably illegal, I.e. bribe) fees as well. At this point, whether or not they prevail they have probably poisoned their relationship with Airbus to the point that Airbus will refuse to sell them another plane as long as Al Baker is there. This is very bad for the airline, as it leaves them with only one supplier. And I would expect Boeing to hike their bid prices (maybe even to list) in anticipation of similar difficulties. And without trying to analyze the details posted by HKAusFlyer above I think that Airbus is likely to prevail simply because no other airline seems to have similar complaints. And if indeed QR did use unapproved chemicals and methods in stripping the plane in question then Airbus absolutely should prevail. QR may have a rocky road ahead of it.


Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.

QR stripped the paint with chemical and mechanical means not approved by Airbus. Then they applied a thicker coat of paint than Airbus recommended, who told QR that it would crack. And now they are claiming damages because the paint cracked. That’s my understanding. I have not heard of any other airlines doing that.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:39 am

oldJoe wrote:
hongkongflyer wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
Seeing as the A350 has been flying for years now with quite a few operators and only one has had this issue, and the CEO of that airline has established a reputation for being excessively picky, I am definitely of the opinion that QR has overstepped here. In the process they have squandered millions of dollars by keeping their A350s (I am not sure whether it is some or all of them) needlessly grounded, and piled up legal (and probably illegal, I.e. bribe) fees as well. At this point, whether or not they prevail they have probably poisoned their relationship with Airbus to the point that Airbus will refuse to sell them another plane as long as Al Baker is there. This is very bad for the airline, as it leaves them with only one supplier. And I would expect Boeing to hike their bid prices (maybe even to list) in anticipation of similar difficulties. And without trying to analyze the details posted by HKAusFlyer above I think that Airbus is likely to prevail simply because no other airline seems to have similar complaints. And if indeed QR did use unapproved chemicals and methods in stripping the plane in question then Airbus absolutely should prevail. QR may have a rocky road ahead of it.


Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.


Many airlines ??? Please show sources for your claim please !!!

According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.
 
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HKAusFlyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 7:27 am

WayexTDI wrote:
oldJoe wrote:
hongkongflyer wrote:

Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.


Many airlines ??? Please show sources for your claim please !!!

According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.


Not cited anywhere here yet on A.net, but IAG CEO Louis Gallego said:
"We don't have the same type of issues that Qatar has, and we are operating A350s, and we have not had problems."

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 022-02-25/

BA also resumed taking deliveries of A350-1000, with G-XWBJ MSN490 delivered yesterday:
https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/ ... ays/ell425
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 7:59 am

WayexTDI wrote:
According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.


The article is incorrect, the other airlines had suffered paint peel which is not an issue QR has raised.

Paint peel normally starts from an edge, I have noticed on panels under the aircraft. Airflow gets under the polyurethane paint layer at the edge and lifts it off like a sticker in flight.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 8:11 am

WayexTDI wrote:
oldJoe wrote:
hongkongflyer wrote:

Many airlines have similar problems, just not demanding for compensations as high profile as QR.


Many airlines ??? Please show sources for your claim please !!!

According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.


Many airlines have had paint issues. Airbus claims they are different than what QR is reporting and not related. I have no doubt QR wants to show it is a widespread and related problem that Airbus is not dealing with. Airbus on the other hand claims this is not related to QR and their different problems on their frames and is also trying to separate the problems QR has been facing within their fleet and from the other aircraft.

They seem to have MSN 36 that had the issue reported. Airbus is claiming this was due to the repaint procedure QR asked for that is not part of the Airbus process for repainting so they do not accept responsibility for any issues on the aircraft.

The other aircraft within the QR fleet are having cracking paint issues due to known problems (rivet rash) that all aircraft suffer from, or from the fact that QR once again asked for paint on their aircraft that is thicker than Airbus recommends and they warned QR it could lead to cracking.

I guess we have to be careful here, it may be that the problems airlines are facing are the same, but at the moment this is not established and only alleged by one party in a legal dispute.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 8:17 am

enzo011 wrote:
I guess we have to be careful here, it may be that the problems airlines are facing are the same, but at the moment this is not established and only alleged by one party in a legal dispute.


The main difference with paint peel and what QR has claimed is the timing. Paint peel tends to present itself very soon after delivery (and common on metallic or composite aircraft), whereas the QR issues are presenting after years in service.
 
tvh
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 8:56 am

A part from all the legal stuff, how are the repairs comming along ? Any know progress ?
 
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reidar76
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 9:23 am

tvh wrote:
A part from all the legal stuff, how are the repairs comming along ? Any know progress ?


Qatar refuses any repairs.
 
Gar1G
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 11:00 am

Maybe someone can answer this as I can't quite find the right answer:
Is QR saying in their court documents this whole problem started with MSN36 and that the issues did not exist beforehand?

If so, then something doesn't add up as 23/53 of their fleet are currently grounded in the space of around a year. They are all of differing ages so I find it hard to imagine that this is issue has only showed itself in this one year gone and not before that?
 
tvh
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 11:27 am

reidar76 wrote:
tvh wrote:
A part from all the legal stuff, how are the repairs comming along ? Any know progress ?


Qatar refuses any repairs.


That does not help.
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:31 pm

enzo011 wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
oldJoe wrote:

Many airlines ??? Please show sources for your claim please !!!

According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.


Many airlines have had paint issues. Airbus claims they are different than what QR is reporting and not related. I have no doubt QR wants to show it is a widespread and related problem that Airbus is not dealing with. Airbus on the other hand claims this is not related to QR and their different problems on their frames and is also trying to separate the problems QR has been facing within their fleet and from the other aircraft.

They seem to have MSN 36 that had the issue reported. Airbus is claiming this was due to the repaint procedure QR asked for that is not part of the Airbus process for repainting so they do not accept responsibility for any issues on the aircraft.

The other aircraft within the QR fleet are having cracking paint issues due to known problems (rivet rash) that all aircraft suffer from, or from the fact that QR once again asked for paint on their aircraft that is thicker than Airbus recommends and they warned QR it could lead to cracking.

I guess we have to be careful here, it may be that the problems airlines are facing are the same, but at the moment this is not established and only alleged by one party in a legal dispute.


EK have specifically mentioned about their concern regarding 350’s print issues, which proved that the problem will not be QR specific.
 
aaexecplat
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:00 pm

hongkongflyer wrote:
enzo011 wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
According to this article, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France have noted issues as well; but it seems they have worked it out with Airbus.


Many airlines have had paint issues. Airbus claims they are different than what QR is reporting and not related. I have no doubt QR wants to show it is a widespread and related problem that Airbus is not dealing with. Airbus on the other hand claims this is not related to QR and their different problems on their frames and is also trying to separate the problems QR has been facing within their fleet and from the other aircraft.

They seem to have MSN 36 that had the issue reported. Airbus is claiming this was due to the repaint procedure QR asked for that is not part of the Airbus process for repainting so they do not accept responsibility for any issues on the aircraft.

The other aircraft within the QR fleet are having cracking paint issues due to known problems (rivet rash) that all aircraft suffer from, or from the fact that QR once again asked for paint on their aircraft that is thicker than Airbus recommends and they warned QR it could lead to cracking.

I guess we have to be careful here, it may be that the problems airlines are facing are the same, but at the moment this is not established and only alleged by one party in a legal dispute.


EK have specifically mentioned about their concern regarding 350’s print issues, which proved that the problem will not be QR specific.
True, but I am thinking Tim Clark did not know that QR knowingly used a thicker paint layer than specifically advised against by Airbus, nor that QR asked their maintenance facility to use paint stripping techniques outside of OEM spec...just sayin.
 
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zeke
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Re: Airbus / Qatar A350 dispute - Airbus launched counter-claim

Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:44 pm

hongkongflyer wrote:

EK have specifically mentioned about their concern regarding 350’s print issues, which proved that the problem will not be QR specific.


That was before the Airbus rebutted was made public. I would bet EK have had their technical manager review the rebuttal to see how reasonable it is.

Throughout the documents Airbus has highlighted where QR has not followed manufacturers procedures with regard to the aircraft, or contractural procedures relating to the purchase of the A350s and A321s.

Not following manufacturers maintenance procedures, and repair schemes is frankly very concerning to me.

The QCAA has also failed to explain to EASA or Airbus where the level 1 finding is that grounds the aircraft. Level 1 findings make the whole industry sit up and pay attention.

Level 1 findings are taken very seriously by the industry, no regulator will issue one without a rock solid factual basis:. They should have documentation of how the aircraft are currently unsafe, not might, may, could, potentially be unsafe sometime in the future, that is level 2 finding.

If it was a true level 1 finding, I also fail to see why any Qatar registered A350 is permitted to fly.

If the Airbus rebuttal is accepted by the courts, it will have significant ramifications in my view for QR and QCAA international reputations. It could for example result in the downgrading of Qatars safety assessment, and reductions in bilateral capacity due to QCAA oversight concerns.

At the start of the rebuttal Airbus has essentially suggested that QR and the QCAA have invented this issue for financial gain.

One of the glaring comments in the rebuttal is that QR had agreed to inform Airbus of any issues, and provide the opportunity for Airbus to assess these issues as they arise. It appears QR has deliberately withheld this opportunity/information from EASA/Airbus, however informing the QCAA to ground the aircraft.

Neither the regulator or the airline is passing this onto the state of design and manufacturer (EASA) as outlined in ICAO standards.

It was suggested this is being done to rack up US$200k per grounded aircraft per day.
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