Qatar Airways and Airbus’ recent dispute raises eyebrows amongst high-profile figures in the airline industry.
Head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Willie Walsh, has said that Airbus’ decision to revoke their contract with Qatar Airways is a “worrying development.”
The global aviation authority weighed in on the recent disputes between Qatar Airways and Airbus, regarding the manufacturer’s decision to terminate a contract with the national carrier, which consisted of a placement of 50 A321neo jets, as a months-long dispute between the two companies continues to escalate.
He further alerted aerospace corporations to not exploit “market strength,” distinctly referring to Airbus’ decision to revoke Qatar’s jet order.
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QA is set to sue Airbus for more than $600 million in compensation over “rows of defects on the skin of the aircraft, including flakes of the copper-mesh anti-lightning system that come loose easily when teased by a gloved hand,” Doha News reported.
The carrier further refuses to resume the delivery of more jets should Airbus not cooperate on the raised case.
“I would hate to think that one of the suppliers is taking advantage of their current market strength to exploit their position, and that is something we are watching very closely,” Walsh told reporters.
The high-profile figure reiterated that business relations between different airline giants, Airbus and Boeing, should withstand pressures and de-escalate back to a normal situation.
He further noted that unless an industry does not uphold its duty of paying the contractors, only then will the industry lose suppliers, in which he asserted was not the case with QA.
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“I think it is a new development and one that everybody in the industry will be looking at,” Walsh added.
Airbus has refused to comment on Walsh’s remarks, having previously stated that it will “deny in total” Qatar’s lawsuit in an English court.
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