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Qatar Airways grounds Airbus A350s

Qatar Airways has grounded 13 of its Airbus A350 fleet after concerns were raised that the fuselage surface below the paint is “degrading at an accelerated rate”.

The flag-carrier said the decision had been taken following the explicit written instruction of its regulator.

The airline said the planes would remain on the ground until such time as the “root cause can be established” and a “satisfactory solution” made available to permanently correct the underlying condition.

Qatar Airways has returned its A330 fleet to service to make up for the shortfall in available aircraft.

The aircraft type had been out of action following a fall in demand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “With this latest development, we sincerely expect that Airbus treats this matter with the proper attention that it requires.

“Qatar Airways will not accept anything other than aircraft that continue to offer its customers the highest possible standard of safety and the best travel experience that they deserve.

“Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.”

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