Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad International) is seeking USD618 million in compensation from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) plus an additional USD4 million for every day of its fleet of A350s is grounded due to surface paint defects, Reuters has reported citing London High Court documents.

More than a tenth of the entire compensation, USD78 million, is related to a single A350-900 - A7-ALL (msn 36) - which was ferried to Toulouse Blagnac on January 5, 2021, and has remained parked at the airport ever since. The carrier planned to use the 5.3-year-old jet as a logojet for the upcoming 2022 football world cup in Qatar, only for the surface degradation to be discovered during repainting.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows the remainder of the twenty-one A350s grounded by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) - fifteen -900s and five A350-1000s - are currently parked at Doha Hamad International airport.

Qatar Airways claims the European manufacturer has not provided a root-cause analysis of the issue and is also seeking a court injunction banning Airbus from even trying to deliver any further A350s, although it is not clear if the order would only affect deliveries to Qatar Airways or o other airlines as well. The Qatari carrier has already paused the delivery of its twenty-three remaining A350-1000s. The airline declined to comment on the matter when contacted by ch-aviation.

Airbus has said it will "deny in total" the airline's claims reiterating its position that the issue is not structural and does not affect safety. According to earlier reports, the accelerated degradation of fuselage paint may expose embedded anti-lighting copper mesh. While other airlines have reported similar paint defects, none has so far grounded any of their A350s.