Qatar Airways A350 (2014 photo): years of litigation
Photo: Stringer / dpa
Amicable agreement: The billion-dollar dispute between Airbus and major customer Qatar Airways over alleged paintwork damage to A350 long-haul aircraft has been settled.
The European aircraft manufacturer spoke of a "friendly and mutually acceptable comparison" with the Qatari airline.
This does not involve an admission of guilt.
Qatar Airways has sued Airbus for at least €1.4 billion after Qatar's aviation regulator grounded 29 A350 aircraft over damage to the outer skin.
Qatar Airways was the first customer for the Airbus A350 in 2015.
The damage to the paint had revealed gaps in the underlying lightning protection layer.
Although Airbus had acknowledged external quality defects in the paintwork, it had always denied a safety risk.
In return, the aircraft manufacturer had canceled all outstanding A350 orders from Qatar Airways.
"This agreement allows Qatar Airways and Airbus to go forward and work together as partners," the two companies said in identical statements.
Confidentiality was agreed on the details of the settlement.
The long-haul aircraft are now to be repaired and the mutual lawsuits ended.
A trial in London was already scheduled for June, and representatives of Airbus and Qatar Airways had argued publicly in court hearings.
“Both parties look forward to getting the aircraft safely back in the air,” the companies said.
In view of the explosive nature of the dispute, which has dragged on since autumn 2021, politicians also got involved.
France's finance and economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, was pleased.
This is "great news for the French aviation industry".
The Reuters news agency had already reported on Tuesday about a rapprochement and a possible quick agreement.
After the meetings of the two counterparties with the responsible supervisory authorities in Doha, the tough negotiations gained momentum.
Talks at the highest level were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.