A British court split the Qatar Airways and Airbus paint issue after a hearing on Friday. The trial is scheduled to begin in June next year, but it will take longer than previously expected. Let’s take a closer look at what all this means below.
The issue of Qatar Airways and Airbus will be divided
At a hearing in London yesterday, UK Supreme Court Justice David Waxman ordered that the multi-billion dollar Qatar Airways and Airbus trial be divided into two parts due to the high degree of complexity. In May, the court ruled in favor of an expedited trial, which would have had a trial of about three months duration next summer, but will now consider the case in two parts and the trial could run until 2024.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight
As reported by FlightGlobal, Airbus said,
“A division of the proceedings as proposed by Airbus will allow the matters justifying the order for the expedition to take place in June 2023. It will also allow other matters… less urgent to be tried following the appropriate process of disclosure and preparation of factual and expert evidence, which are impossible to fit into the current timetable.”
For those unfamiliar with what this conflict between Airbus and Qatar Airways is about, here’s a quick refresher: Basically, Qatar Airways is seeking compensation for paint damage on its Airbus A350 fleet, which Airbus has admitted, but Claim that it is not a serious problem.
The MEA first raised its concerns in January 2021 before the two, formerly close partners, saw their relationship quickly sour. Airbus, in turn, launched counterclaims for damages after canceling orders with Qatar Airways.
Airbus inspectors denied being in Qatar
Airbus said its technical team was “Their efforts to conduct a proper inspection were hamperedDuring a visit to Doha, divisions between the two parties deepened. Airbus lawyer David Wolfson accused the airline of playing a ‘switcheroo’ to obstruct Airbus technicians, with Qatar Airways claiming it had done everything it could on short notice during the busy World Cup period.
Photo: Qatar Airways
The European planemaker had previously warned that the trial could be delayed due to Qatar Airways’ “lack” of disclosures, adding that very little progress had been made since a meeting in November. However, Qatar Airways has accused Airbus of secrecy and demanded that the plane’s manufacturer disclose details of settlements it has made with other affected airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines and Lufthansa.
So what will happen now?
Now that the trial is split, it is expected to run for at least another year. The first part of the trial, scheduled to start in June 2023, will deal with liability, while the bulk claims section will be addressed later.
There could be a dramatic turn of events in the case, however, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha of all places. With France reaching the final on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Qatar and was greeted at the airport by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. There are hopes that informal talks over the next few days can bring more cordiality and cooperation to one of the industry’s most high-profile disputes.
Word from Qatar Airways
A spokesperson for the airline Simple Flying sent the following statement:
“Qatar Airways’ applications in this CMC sought to address information asymmetries arising from the fact that Airbus, manufacturer of the A350, had failed to provide basic technical information regarding the defect which is necessary for conclusive analysis of the root cause. It was our pleasure. That the judge agreed to our requests and ordered information to be provided quickly to ensure that key cases were properly handled by the independent experts.In a trial of this size, bifurcation was not unusual and therefore it was not unexpected that the judge would rule on this.Dividing up the quantitative cases was a solution A compromise between the preferences of both sides and we are pleased that this will ensure that key technical issues are the focus of the summer trial.”
Do you see this saga ending in the next 12 months? Who do you think has the strongest case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
- arrow symbol:
- Date of Establishment:
- Executive Director:
- Instant clouds
- Headquarters location:
- Toulouse, France
- Main product lines:
- Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380
- type of employment:
- plane maker
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline type:
- full service carrier
- Doha Hamad International Airport
- Year Founded:
- One world
- Executive Director:
- Akbar Al Baker
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