DOHA, QATARQatar Airways expects to ground more Airbus A350 in its fleet due to the painting issues on the surfaces.

The airline is also planning to lease a significant number of aircraft to back up the A350s that were withdrawn from the service. At least four Boeing 777s will come from Cathay Pacific of which Qatar Airways is third-largest shareholder, with a 9.99 percent stake.
                                                                                                                                                                    In an interview with Washington Post, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said that European planemaker destroyed its business relationship with the carrier and it would be difficult to repair the frayed relationship with Airbus.

“We can always let the water pass under the bridge and move on,” Al Baker said.

“With Airbus, the damage is very severe. I don’t know how we will be able to work with them again,” he added.

Qatar Airways is one of Airbus’ largest customers, but the two are now in a severe dispute over paint and surface defects on the jets, forcing the Qatari carrier to ground at least 21 of its 53 Airbus A350s.

Last week, Airbus said it would seek independent legal advice on the matter, emphasizing European safety regulators had validated the airworthiness of its planes despite some surface degradation.

Qatar Airways has an order for 50 A321neos and 23 A350-1000s with the European planemaker. The carrier says it remains committed to its existing orders, as long as the planes are technically robust with no problems”

Qatar Airways currently has 110 Airbus aircraft in a fleet of more than 250 planes.