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Costly Flaw Of Paint On Airbus Planes Expands Beyond The Gulf

Costly Flaw Of Paint On Airbus Planes Expands Beyond The Gulf
There is a disagreement with Airbus as well as Qatar Airways over paint and imperfections on the surface of A350 aircrafts extends over the Gulf as well, with at most five other airlines expressing concerns since the model's high-tech was launched, according to documents obtained by Reuters as well as several individuals who have direct knowledge of the issue.
The Qatari national carrier suspended 20 A350s of its fleet insisting it's acting on the instructions of the local regulator until the causes of what passengers refer to as the pockmarks and blisters of certain A350s of the airline are established.
Airbus affirms that there's no threat to the safety of the A350, which is also the case with other airlines that haven't grounded any jets and described the issue in terms of "cosmetic."
The plane maker has responded to inquiries from Reuters there had been issues in the area of "early surface wear" that in some instances revealed a sub-layer of mesh designed to suffocate lightning. The company is working to correct.
Three individuals with direct knowledge of the situation told they were aware that on Qatar Airways and at least one other airline , the mesh has at times it's own developed gaps that left the carbon-fibre fusion exposed to weather conditions or other damages.
The A350 is in operation since 2015, was built with a lot of protection to withstand weather and storms, and is in use across the globe that is reliable and long-lasting, Airbus said in an electronic statement.
Concerned about the gap within the mesh it stated that certain airlines had greater temperature fluctuations than others, possibly referring for instance, to conditions of desert in Qatar.
Qatar Airways has called for an unambiguous reason to be determined and an immediate fix that is acceptable to its regulator. It is understood that the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority declined to provide a response.
According to reports that cite sources of information from those who were who were aware of the decision it was based on doubts about the causes and consequences of surface degrading as well as gaps in lightning protection.
Airbus declares it has identified an underlying cause, but people from two affected airlines say they haven't been informed of one.
The dispute has set the alarm clock in a battle for compensation that , according to sources, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars following Qatar Airways halted deliveries of 23 additional A350s ordered.
The squabble between two of aviation's top prominent players came to light in the month of May, just six months following Qatar Airways sent an A350 to be stripped of its paint and repainted in a specially designed livery for the FIFA World Cup to be hosted within the Gulf state in the year to come.
What had for months been widely portrayed as a single issue due to Qatar's extreme heat is much more common, according to an internal maintenance message board that is used for Airbus as well as A350 operators as per a the report.
These messages indicate that Finnair operating in the northern regions had raised concerns over paint in the year 2016 and in October of this year, reported that the damage had extended below to the anti-lightning net.
Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa and Air France - acting in its role as maintenance provider to Air Caraibes - also complained of damage to the paint.
After the previously unreported issues, Airbus last year set up a "multi-functional task force," while analyzing new materials to protect lightning in the future A350 aircraft, two sources knowledgeable about the issue told.
Finnair, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa confirmed that some of their A350s had been affected by cosmetic damage. Air Caraibes said it and its sister airline French Bee had seen "no major paint problems," particularly none with regard to safety. Air France said its own A350s were operating normally since they began operating in 2021. It also did not discuss Air Caraibes. Etihad declined to comment.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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