LONDON – In a tragic turn of events, Airbus today has announced that it is seeking independent legal consultation and assessment over A350 paint jobs which Airbus quotes as “Mischaracterisation” by one of its ‘Customers’.
Qatar Airways, the prominent user of Airbus A350 in the region has reported the issue of honeycombed shape structures designed to absorb lightning strikes while in flight are being exposed due to a phenomenon called non-structural surface degradation.
Although Airbus has refrained from naming its “customer” in said legal assessment, the issue was first addressed by Qatar Airways.
As a result of this “non-structural surface degradation”, the Qatari Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA), has ordered Qatar Airways immediate grounding of some of its (40%) Airbus A350’s with further investigation.
Airbus in its statement mentioned that “The surface paint-related findings have been thoroughly assessed by Airbus and confirmed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as having no airworthiness impact on the A350 fleet.”
“The attempt by this customer to misrepresent this specific topic as an airworthiness issue represents a threat to the international protocols on safety matters”
Airbus further asserted that “while Airbus regrets the need to follow such a path, it has become necessary to defend its position and reputation. Airbus has worked actively with its customers in order to minimize the impact and any inconvenience caused by this in-service surface degradation on the aircraft. These solutions have all been dismissed by the above-mentioned customer without legitimate justification.”
On the countercry, Finnair, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa have also started reporting non-structural surface degradation issued on their A350’s.