Dubai’s Emirates warns Airbus over A350 deliveries amid paint row

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Dubai’s Emirates has told Airbus it will not take delivery of A350 passenger jets that it has ordered if they have surface problems similar to those reported by Qatar Airways, the airline’s president was quoted as saying.

“We made it absolutely clear in Toulouse now that, if we have the same problem on one of our aircraft, we won’t take them over,” Tim Clark told industry publication AirlineRatings.

“Our engineers looked at these A350s and said they are not in a good shape. So we say to Toulouse: by the delivery of the A350, you will have cracked this problem, otherwise you will face us with no deliveries either,” he was reported saying.

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Airbus declined to comment on Clark’s remarks.

It is locked in a dispute with Qatar Airways over the contractual and safety implications of paint and lightning protection damage on A350 passenger jets. Qatar has grounded 21 of the planes.

The head of British Airways owner IAG said on Friday it is not experiencing the same degree of issues as Qatar Airways and said the “situation” had been discussed with European regulators who deemed the planes safe.

Several airlines have now reported A350 paint problems, while Qatar Airways has complained of deeper underlying issues with a layer of lightning protection attached to the paint.

“There have been findings on some in-service A350 surface paint which Airbus has been investigating,” an Airbus spokesman said.

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