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Surface erosion and other issues are apparently vexing the airline, which has 21 of the A350 planes currently grounded.

Qatar Airways is claiming $618 million in compensation from planemaker Airbus in a dispute over erosion to the surface of A350 jetliners, a court document showed on Thursday.

The Gulf airline is also seeking extra compensation of $4 million for every day that 21 of its A350 airplanes remain grounded by Qatar’s regulator over the skin damage, which includes erosion and gaps in a layer of lightning protection.

The European jetliner’s largest customer launched the claim in December, saying Airbus had failed to provide a full root-cause analysis needed to satisfy its questions over the airworthiness of some 40 percent of its A350 fleet.

Airbus said it understood the cause and would “deny in total” the airline’s claim in a division of the High Court in London. “Airbus restates there is no airworthiness issue,” a spokesperson said, adding this view had been confirmed by European regulators.

Qatar Airways had no immediate comment.

The companies have been locked in a row for months over damage including blistered paint, rivet-related cracks and corrosion to the sub-layer of lightning protection.

The row escalated in November when a Reuters investigation revealed at least five other airlines had discovered surface flaws, prompting Airbus to set up an internal task force and to explore a new anti-lightning design for future A350 planes.

Qatar is so far the only country to ground some of the jets.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)

This article was written by Guy Faulconbridge and Tim Hepher from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


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Tags: a350, airbus, qatar airways

Photo credit: The Gulf airline is seeking extra compensation of $4 million for every day that 21 of its A350 airplanes remain grounded. Arkin Si / Unsplash

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