For months, Airbus and Qatar Airways have been engaged in a major legal battle that has shaken the aviation world.
A UK court has given Qatar Airways a 13-week deadline to submit any correspondence it has with the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) about the Airbus A350’s grounding, Simple Flying reported.
The national airliner maintains 22 A350 aircraft were grounded by the QCAA after their Airworthiness Review Certificates were revoked, however the judge said such communication has yet to be presented in the ongoing case.
For months, Airbus and Qatar Airways have been engaged in a major legal battle over whether the paint deterioration on the surface of some A350s constitutes a safety concern.
The most recent court hearing in the continuing dispute took place on Saturday, when Airbus disclosed that some design changes had already been made to the aircraft.
However, the judge’s closing remarks targeted Qatar Airways’ alleged continued failure to provide proof of dialogue with the QCAA.
Judge David Waksman “expressed frustration” that nothing had been provided despite repeated demands for QA to provide this material, calling the notion that there had been no communication between the QCAA and Qatar Airways “absurd”, reported Simple Flying.
The judge demanded that Qatar Airways provide proof of this contact by April 21, when the two parties are scheduled to next meet in London.
Judge Waksman also referred to the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, not being present at the trial and his perceived lack of willingness to offer a testimony. “I reject the contention that Mr Al Baker has only been peripheral in this issue,” he said.
“Mr Al Baker appears not to wish to engage at all in this case, whether as a matter of substance or on matters of disclosure, where he may be able to assist,” he added.
Waksman warned such crucial gaps risks the case being entirely dismissed.
“If those gaps [in the evidence] remain and cannot be explained, especially as Mr Al Baker apparently is not giving evidence, then they [Airbus] will make an application that I should draw an adverse inference, either in relation to his absence or in relation to documentary absence, and there is very well-developed case law as far as that goes,” Waksman concluded.