HOTR: Airbus responds to Qatar lawsuit; (Update): Boeing statement on Russia-Ukraine

By the Leeham News Team

Feb. 28, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus last Friday filed its answer to the lawsuit filed by Qatar Airways over the A350 paint issues. Qatar claims 21 A350s have defective paint issues that lead to safety concerns for lightning protection. Qatar’s national regulator grounded the airplanes.

The manufacturer replies in its answer that it believes the regulator acted at the airline’s request, which Airbus believes was motivated by economic reasons rather than safety issues.

Airbus also said that the paint stripping of the A350 intended for repainting was improperly done and deviated from Airbus’ procedures outlined in its manuals.

A350s are airworthy, Airbus says

All A350s grounded by Qatar are, in fact, airworthy, Airbus says, denying the airline’s request for compensation. Airbus claims the airline refused to undertake recommended repairs and that the regulator failed to specify in detail why the airplanes were grounded. Airbus accuses the airline of failing to act in good faith. Despite claims by the airline that Airbus failed to find the full root cause of the problem, Airbus responded that it has done so.

Airbus analyzed the airline’s A350 fleet usage during the COVID pandemic. It concluded that only two A350s operated at pre-pandemic flight operation levels. Thus, Airbus contends, it is in the airline’s economic interest to ground the A350s and seek compensation from Airbus.

A counterclaim of more than $220m has been made by Airbus for the two A350-1000s Airbus tendered to the airline for delivery, which was refused. The claim will rise as storage and maintenance costs are incurred, plus any reconfiguring costs if and when the two A350s are resold. Airbus also seeks to recover purchase credits of nearly $200m for the contract to acquire 80 A350s, prorated to the number of aircraft that were not delivered—in this case, four altogether. Airbus seeks a return of more than $21m.

A321 contract

When the airline refused delivery of the two A350-1000s, Airbus exercised a cross-default provision to cancel a Qatar order for 50 A321neos. Airbus seeks a refund of nearly $4m in credit memos related to the cross-default for the A320/321neo contract.

A stay on Airbus’ canceling the A321neo contract was adopted by the court, with a hearing set April 7. In Friday’s filing, Airbus addresses this controversy.

The filing may be found here: Airbus Response to Qatar 2-25-22

According to those familiar with the dispute, Airbus prefers a negotiated outcome.

Boeing statement on Russia-Ukraine

Boeing issued the following statement on the situation in Russia-Ukraine:

“We are focused on supporting our employees, customers and suppliers in the region, while adhering to all US and global laws and regulations. In light of the evolving situation, we have temporarily closed our office in Kyiv and paused operations at our Moscow Training Campus.”

Guillaume Faury, the CEO of Airbus, Tweeted the following:

“The war now raging in #Ukraine is a stark reminder that peace, democracy and freedom have been hard earned and need to be defended. The responses from Europe and the US are pursuing this objective.
“The sanctions applied by Europe and the US will not only hit Russia but also citizens and society in the countries applying them. We are defending something priceless – our values.
“Prosperity and sustainability can only thrive in a peaceful and stable world and we need to foster the sovereign capabilities that keep it that way.”

86 Comments on “HOTR: Airbus responds to Qatar lawsuit; (Update): Boeing statement on Russia-Ukraine

  1. Interesting! The linked court filing from Airbus contains a wealth of information.

    Of particular note: Airbus is alleging that the flaws that emerged in the case of MSN 0036 — i.e. the plane stripped at Shannon, which kicked off this whole controversy –were caused by improper stripping procedures.

    • Looks like Emirates is siding with Qatar on this dilemma…
      Clark’s team saw Qatars’parked fleet;
      Issued a stern warning to Airbus!!!!
      We will not accept any of our outstanding order for our 50 350″s , until a permanent fix is implemented !!!

      • From Airbus’ court filing:

        26.2. Further and in any event, Airbus has completed full root cause analyses in accordance with its obligation under clause 2 of the SCL and has proposed appropriate repairs and maintenance actions for the Condition and/or Non MSN 36 Findings as and when requested by QTR. However, QTR has failed, in accordance with the A350 ASR manual and its continuing airworthiness responsibilities as CAMO, to carry out appropriate repairs and maintenance actions and/or to seek instructions from Airbus (or another approved design organisation) as to the appropriate repairs and maintenance actions.

        • Just finished reading it… Good God… What a bunch QTR are… Airbus run for the hills… AlBakers’ a ‘coming. Surely they don’t have a hope in hell of winning this nonsense?

          • It really makes excellent reading, doesn’t it?
            And I agree with you — it makes AAB look like a total cowboy.

      • @ Sash
        Not sure if your post is directed to me or to @TC.
        If it’s directed to me: the LNA article above contains a link to a PDF with Airbus’ full reply to the court. In section 9, you’ll find the following w.r.t. the stripping of MSN 0036 at Shannon:

        9.2.1. MSN 36 was subjected to chemical paint stripping and mechanical abrasion processes at QTR’s request while it was in Shannon in order to prepare MSN 36 for repainting. However, the chemical paint stripping and mechanical abrasion went beyond Airbus’ recommendations.
        9.2.2. It is admitted that, following the chemical paint stripping and mechanical abrasion process, the airframe of MSN 36 suffered from surface degradation affecting the paint and, to a very limited extent, the ECF layer. No admissions are made as to the existence or extent of such degradation on MSN 36 prior to this stripping and abrasion process.
        10
        9.2.3. As to this surface degradation, it is admitted that 8 specific findings were identified on MSN 36 and categorised (as set out in paragraph 8 of the Particulars of Claim), but it is averred that some of these findings were significantly caused and/or contributed to by the chemical paint stripping and/or mechanical abrasion process to which had been applied to MSN 36. In particular, it is noted that no ECF was reported as missing from MSN 36 prior to the stripping and abrasion process in Shannon.
        9.2.4. It is denied that there was any damage on MSN 36 to the CFRP that bears the loads of the airframe.

        • These litigations consume a great deal of management time and I think engineering time as well. The reduced management bandwidth can lead to neglect of other areas.

          • Like BA’s current efforts to satisfy FAA and to restart 787 delivery??

          • BA is about to close its Russia design centre which is said to have been doing a lot of heavy lifting for BCA.

            With massive talent drain in recent years, can BCA continue its work on MAX, 787 certification and restart delivery, plus 777X and 777-8F??

  2. Good to be narrowly selective to enable a wrong view.

    As the paint issue arose early by a lot of Airlines that don’t use Shannon? Nah.

    Or that Airbus is looking for a different type lightening grid.

  3. Ok so the choices for Emirates and Qatar are the 777X which hasn’t shown it’s teething islsues yet, the 787 which can’t be produced due to a barrage of production quality problems, or the A350’s non-sticking paint .

      • Exactly. A premium heavy ( irst and business only) A330-800 with ultra long-range would have given Emirates the closest thing to an exclusive private jet like ultra long-range commercial flight.

        • The A330-900 has a range of 7200nmi whereas the distance between one of Emirates longest flights Dubai Sydney is 6500nmi. It’s probably doable in a 3 class layout in the A330-900 and certainly the A330-800 would easily do it. I think less fuel burn than an A380-800 but a little more than a A350-900 or B787-9. Maybe 20L per passenger. Under 3500-4000nmi there is no difference per seat.

    • What a BS.

      Of course, if you refuse to repaint, when paint is an issue, you’ll have that video.
      That’s so obvious, you wonder why drives posts like that.
      Boeing lobbyism?

      Of course you can see the damage to the paint, but to the mesh? Or to the fuselage? Come on, nobody can.
      That video is the defintion of propaganda.

      The truth is: If Qatar would really need the planes, the would send em into the paintshop, send the bill to Airbus and would fly em.

      • In its court filing, Airbus made a specific point of Qatar’s neglect to repair the frames in question:

        5.11.3. QTR has not carried out appropriate repairs and maintenance actions on the Grounded Aircraft for the Condition and/or Non MSN 36 Findings in accordance with the A350 ASR manual and/or QTR has not otherwise sought instructions from Airbus (or, so far as Airbus is aware, any other approved design organisation) in relation to the repairs and maintenance actions for the Grounded Aircraft, or other aircraft in the QTR A350 Fleet that are affected by Non MSN 36 Findings (if and insofar as repairs or maintenance actions in respect of any of Non MSN 36 Findings are not specifically covered by the A350 ASR manual).

      • “The truth is: If Qatar would really need the planes, the would send em into the paintshop, send the bill to Airbus and would fly em.”

        Airbus basically offered to do that, plus pay some compensation. AAB refused.

        • And you park them in your “garage” to protect them from the elements while you negotiate the penalty/credit notes.

          • Me thinks there is a shortage of A350 garages (those that are not madly repainting them of course!)

        • Scott:

          They had the same sort of issue on the A380, the temp panels fix and then a final fix taking aircraft out of service each time.

          On the tech front, Airbus has admitted they are looking at alternatives for the mesh.

          As an engineer I would say the whole story is still in progress. Yes you can re-mesh and repaint but that does not solve the real underlying problem, its a patch job.

          And yes, I often did patch jobs and yes, they then often became the norm for the final fix.

          So Qatar wants a full tech accounting and what the final fix is.

          Airbus also knows Qatar insists on getting exactly what they are paying for.

          They hold a warm place in my tech heart.

          All too often I would investigate issues, prove the builder had supplied sub optimal and it got brushed under the rug and I had to live with trying to keep the stuff going.

          When I quit there was a group of 8 refrigeration compressors cycling themselves to death because they would not get the factory rep up to assess. They will start to fail and then like popcorn one after another and people will be screaming and hollering and unless they have someone techy involved, they will replace them and it will happen again.

          • “engineer” of which specialty ???

            Big difference!!

          • You need to keep in mind that paint is not just on the surface, but partially penetrates the composites and can alter the structure and properties of the underlying material.

            Example: We had years ago ago a car radio which kept on failing the head impact test. In this it simulates a crash where the head hits the console and the requirement is that there are no sharp edges which can cause injury. We had an issue that some plastic buttons kept on breaking and causing sharp edges. This was high end plastic and the material and design worked on other products. It turned out that the paint made the plastic brittle and therefore it failed the test. The paint supplier was changed and then we passed the head impact test. It took a very long time to resolve this problem (we used the troublesome paint as it was customer mandated).

          • compatibility, interfacing issues.

            Usually that is resolved with bespoke primers.

            ( wide range of applications where this comes up: gluing oiled wood with epoxy, nitrocellulose paint can work like a paint stripper, ..
            another issue is electropolished metal parts. lack of surface roughness causes adhesion issues.)

          • @NdB

            Who on earth paint “high-end plastic” radio buttons???

            Which OEM was it??

            Head hitting car radio in a crash test? What year was it??

    • Do we have the context? How old this aircraft is, its registration. Yes its bad but how come it hasn’t been repaired? Paint does not adhere well to titanium (we see that) nor composites so it is going to cost more than a metal aircraft to maintain.

      • Paint usually adheres exceptionally well to composites. In fact there is much speculation that the problem is actually with the layer beneath being attacked by UV. One of the big selling points for composite fuselages was much less maintenance because of less corrosion and fatigue.

        • Paint does not adhere well to copper (lightning mesh) — a well-known problem.
          Oil-based paints give reasonable performance on copper, but acrylic paints are problematic.
          Adhesion promoters are generally necessary and/or prior treatment of the copper to completely remove any surface oxides.

          • I think that the idea is that the copper mesh is buried just below the surface in a layer of lightweight epoxy mush which they refer to as “gelcoat”. This why no one is really worried about the structure at least in the short term and also why I can appreciate how both Airbus and Qatars contractors could get into a lot of trouble using the wrong processes. It is almost impossible to believe that they didn’t follow procedures but a Royal Navy shipyard wrote off a fibreglass minesweeper by using paint stripper intended for wooden ships in the 1980s

          • Grubbie:

            Clearly the grid is coming out of the Gel and the base composites is exposed.

            That in turn leads to water intrusion which until it desalinates only a close scan will show up.

          • The question I have is this. If the copper mesh is exposed and needs to be replaced what is the process? Does the mesh come already attached on the subsection prior to assembly (bolts and titanium ribs providing electrical continuity) or is it applied after airframe is assembled prior to painting.

    • Pretty strange damage imho.
      Why all the damage around fasteners?

      The larger area damage looks a bit like low concentration paint stripper(or like stuff) had been applied.

    • Garuda has almost as many lessors supplying its aircraft as it has aircraft. It’s no surprise this airline is in difficulties.

  4. A question for the materials engineers:

    Is titanium reusable?

    There are quite a few jets sitting in the desert, military and civilian – is pulling them apart and grabbing the metal off of them an option?

    TY.

    • yes, it is.

      there is a lot of titanium (and high grade aluminum, copper and steel) laying around in decommissioned aircraft. with raw materials prices going up given the current world situation and likely future behavior of russia and china, scrap values for old aircraft will be soaring.

    • Frank:

      It is but there is a decisions matrix that is (was) in place as to value as a whole and parted out.

      So usually, once the decision is made to part out, they sell the high value parts (engines, electronics, AC packs, GPU) but don’t break up the aircraft until they have to as its a good storage facility for the unsold parts.

      Not a lot of Titanium in the older birds. Military yes but they will hold that back for F-35 builds and bits and pieces for F-15/18 etc.

      Right now no one knows if this is a short term issue or a long term one.

      Boeing has Titanium stashed and with their low or no production of the ones that use a lot of it (777x and the 787) as well as back stocks of same, they don’t need the quantities planned for.

      If this goes on for 3 months?

      • Am I the only reader here who is astonished that Russia is virtually the monopoly supplier of titanium? There must surely be deposits somewhere in the north American continent and if I were a an Airbus or Boeing director I’d be wanting to commission a geological survey to find them. It wouldn’t happen quickly enough to help now but it might help in the longer term.

        • they are not a monopoly at all, but they are ~30% of the current world production and they specialize in aircraft alloys.

          China has a larger market share and sells it low grade and cheap (hence the market share)

          there is a fair amount in south america too.

          the US does not have (known anyway) significant or economically extractable titanium ore to mine.

        • yes there are deposits of titanium in North america- but mining and processing are largely ‘ dirty’ and ‘energy intensive ‘- With the ascent of “Glowball ‘ (warming or cooling ) issues over the last 5 decades or so and the political landscape in C eh n eh d eh and U S of A political games which shut down many- most of precious and non precious ( Aluminum – Steel- Tungsten , etc ad nauseam ) for example, existing facilities have been mostly shuttered. But the mini salamander and spotted owls are doing fine and have yet to evolve into energy production.

        • In fact, there aren’t any noticeable mine fields of ilmenite FeO3Ti. VSMPO-AVISMA has always imported 100% of ilmenite from outside Russia.

          Their strong point is high competence. Even COMAC has chosen them as a supplier for C919. It would be a big drama if such a high-end tech company collapses because of the reckless war started by Putin.

    • A much more interesting question: is this going to accelerate the use of 3D printed titanium parts in aviation?

      There is significantly less material waste with 3D printed parts manufacturing processes than using traditional machining, and the final part could use significantly less material (example Airbus 3D printed door hinges).

      • 3D printing, historically, has largely been used for items that do not experience significant loads as in nearly all cases a forged/milled part would be much stronger for a given weight and quantity of material.

        that is changing as 3D printing processes evolve, but it will likely be some time before you see things like wingbox frames 3D printed. it will happen eventually because the design freedom provided by 3D printing will change the way those structures are designed resulting potentially transformative weight & cost reductions

      • The crystalline or grain structure of 3D printed items is not so good as forged or cast.

        • Laser melting/sintering of powders can produce fine grain structures.
          It is all related to the production parameters, and the quick cooling of the small pool of heated material has the potential to produce very fine grain.
          The problem now is the cost of the machinery and the time required to produce each part; as every new technology the balance is quickly shifting.

      • Interesting re Ti door hinges. Without significant lubrication, rubbing Ti against Ti under load is friction intensive- AKA friction welding. Rubbing almost any ‘ metal’ against Ti is friction intensive. Drilling Ti with conventional drills even at low speeds requires GOOD lubricant. A few thousand rpm drilling of aluminum with minimal /no lubricant is OK, but will weld the drill to titanium at the same speed. Thus drilling Ti parts requires speeds much lower – approx 300 to 500 rpm for a 1/4 inch nominal hole AND lubricant. ben there dun that- ran tests- wrote an early manual about that.

    • https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-suspends-moscow-engineering-center-and-halts-support-to-russian-airlines/

      So now we have Boeing Moscow employees being dragged by Putin to hammer the Boeing Kiev employees ?

      Which side are you on … ( song) 1931 union song by Pete Seeger

      “Late Tuesday Boeing issued a brief statement announcing that it has temporarily suspended major operations in Russia, including at its Moscow Design Center where it employs more than 1,000 engineers.

      The U.S. jet maker said it is also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines.

      Meanwhile, its major engineering design center and its central office in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which together have about 1,100 employees, have been closed since the first day of the Russian invasion last Thursday.

      In addition to weighing its immense business interests in Russia — including a crucial supply of titanium needed to build its airplanes — Boeing points out that the lives of employees are at stake.

      “As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region,” the company said in its statement.”

        • That is a general issue with machined parts from block stock. ( look at the process for A30/3/40* fuselage frames.or the parts for the XLR tank. 🙂

          But rejoice:
          This is the domain where additive manufacturing makes big inroads with very large gains.

          ( Forging could be beneficial too but the need for individual bespoke tooling … Hmm: is CNC forging with universal tooling a possibility?)

          • Forging is a way of adding strength by deforming the metal.
            Stamping is a similar approach.
            Its better than machining in some cases as the deformation is to produce desired shape without waste.
            It is of course far quicker than additive manufacturing which only has an advantage when making complicated parts in one piece

            I can see airframe structural parts still being forged for a long time to come

        • An old article from the everett herald 2014 and a russian oligarch .. and a fictional conversation :))
          Enjoy
          Boeing loyal to its Russian investments
          By John Burbank

          . . .Boeing is taking the “go slow” route. It has too much to lose withdrawing from Russia. One of Boeing’s buddies in Russia is Sergey Chemezov. He was just placed on the sanctions list as a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. This guy has a “strategic partnership” with Boeing to build titanium parts. His company supplies about a third of the titanium used in Boeing’s jets. Last November Boeing committed to a joint venture in the Ural Mountains to produce titanium, reduce machining costs, and establish more than 100 new jobs … there.
          According to its own publications, “Boeing is one of Russia’s largest partners in the areas of innovation and high technology.” Boeing intends to invest $27 billion in Russia. The Moscow Boeing design center has participated in hundreds of projects for the 747, 737, 777, 767 and 787 family of planes. Don’t believe me, read this for yourself: http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/aboutus/international/docs/backgrounders/russia-cisbackgrounder.pdf

          +++

          Now consider that BA outsources a lot of engineering to Russia, NASA pays about 70 million for Round trip to space station, Russia even during cold war was/is a major supplier of titanium ore and sponge, and we now buy a lot of old russian rocket engines since we have little capability to design or produce our own . So in an not too alternate world we might have the following phone call.

          Ring ring … Hello, this is Jim McNearney . .
          Vlad This is Vlad P . hows it going with you today ?
          Jim Oh .. fine, but why do you ask Mr P?
          Vlad Well Jim . . . pause can I call you JIM ? “
          Jim “Certainly sir, I’m honored ..”
          Vlad “ and you can call me Vlad “

          Vlad. The reason I called Jim, is that your President has been harassing a few of my friends, and especially Sergy C. Put him on a sanctions list
          JIm But why call me ?
          Vlad- well Sergy brought to my attention that about 30 percent of our titanium is used in your jets, and there is a long term contract in n place regarding costs and prices and . .
          Jim- yes thats right. And we also have shipped a lot of our design work to your wonderful engineers in Moscow. They do great work, at a much lower cost, and we don’t have to pay benefits or put up with unions and ..
          VLAD – thats what I wanted to talk to you about.
          JIM Oh . . . . .

          VLAD I thought it would only be polite to give you a heads up before my announcement today about our response to the Sanctions imposed by your president and his cronies.

          JIM – I don’t understand, How am I involved ?

          VLAD Effective tomorrow – I am abrogating all contracts with the U.S and its followers.

          JIM But but but . . . that would be illegal , improper, and unethical ..

          VLAD Jim , you are entitled to your opinion but I’m in charge here. I’ve got the titanium, I make the rules.

          JIM Oh . . . . so what are the changes ?

          VLAD they are severalfold but Ill keep it simple

          1) The price to you ( BA and U.S ) for titanium forgings is now up by a factor of 5. For ore/sponge by a factor of 4.

          2) Trips to the Space Station now cost 300 million/trip plus costs.

          3) Our rocket engines now cost 10 times as much

          4) Our Engineers will now cost 30 times as much plus a guarantee of benefits equal to those you removed from your employees

          5) I was not impressed how you dealt with your loyal workers regarding phony cries of ‘ we cannot afford . .” while you and your capitalist friends made off with millions. As you know, we here have a workers paradise, everyone gets treated equally, and our workers are very loyal. Until you and your capitalist friends turn over all your surplus wealth for the benefits of the state, by paying 95 percent taxes, and turn back the scheme of 9 Billion subsidy paid on the backs of your workers, we will continue to raise our costs to you at least 10 percent per year or until the U.S and its cronies revoke the sanctions on my friends.

          ++
          So 8 years later . . .

          • and now in WSJ 7 march 2022
            By Andrew Tangel
            March 7, 2022 5:30 am ET

            Boeing’s Big Bet on Russian Titanium Includes Ties to Sanctioned Oligarch
            Plane maker has suspended buying the metal from Russia but must still deal with ties with company linked to sanctioned oligarch and Putin ally ”

            and another excerpt

            “Boeing’s post-Soviet work in Russia led to the first contract for titanium signed in 1997. It opened a design center in Moscow the next year. The investments were encouraged by the U.S. government and gave the company access to a rich talent pool of engineers who otherwise faced unemployment, former Boeing executives said.

            The relationship expanded in the early 2000s with Boeing’s development of the 787 Dreamliner: Its design relied heavily on titanium, not only for landing gear but where large portions of the structure join together on the plane’s fuselage, people familiar with the matter said.”

            photo

            Russian President Vladimir Putin with then-Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner, in blue tie, and Sergei Chemezov at a meeting outside Moscow in 2012.

            As long as the geopolitical situation stays tame, no problem.’
            — Boeing CEO David Calhoun in January ( 2022 )

            Thank you Harry S and follow on clowns. Profit uber alles . ..

            ” When I say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so it’s run like a business rather than a great engineering firm. It is a great engineering firm, but people invest in a company because they want to make money. ”
            Harry Stonecipher, 2004, former CEO of The Boeing Company, reflecting on the late 1990s( from Turbulence ? )

      • Now about local Boeing- russian management

        from Seattle Times

        ” A Boeing memo to employees on Monday quoted Sergey Kravchenko, president of Boeing Russia who also heads up operations in Ukraine and the former Soviet republics, saying that the top priority is the safety of employees and their families.”

        ” “We are One Boeing and have each other’s backs,” Kravchenko said.

        However, illustrating the difficulty Boeing’s tight relationship with Russia now brings, Kravchenko, like most important business leaders in Russia, operates with the imprimatur of the Kremlin. His company bio points out that in 2013, “Kravchenko was awarded the Order of Friendship by Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

      • Landing gear parts seem to be the critical area. as reported by Seattle Times

        ‘The joint venture in Russia “has a 54,000-ton forging press that makes the main struts for the 787 and 777 landing gear,” said Michaels.

        If that were cut off by Western sanctions, or by Russian retaliation to sanctions, Michaels said there are only one or two places in the world that would have the capacity to match the VSMPO facility.’

        Of course with aviation, having the properly certified plant is another complexity and switching to another location could involve some years of effort

          • -> “The program *began in 1950 and concluded in 1957* after construction of four forging presses and six extruders, at an overall cost of $279 million. Eight of them are still in operation today, manufacturing structural parts for military and commercial aircraft. *They still hold the records for size in North America*, though they have since *been surpassed by presses in Japan, France, Russia and China.*

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Press_Program

        • despite all the bloviating about oil and titanium and some effects on electronic chips, look up where the majority of neon comes from- used in lasers to make chips.

    • I know that when titanium is machined that the swarf is contaminated by tool alloys and is difficult to recycle. May have changed.

  5. Very strong statement by Guillaume Faury. His personality must be very strong willed and aggressive in the won’t back down sense. It possibly explains the willingness to confront Qatar, raise A321 levels to 75/month, acquire bombardier.

    • Shades of dealing with Ryanair. Not worth it to them maybe.

      The A321s have been hanging on the books for 11 years.

      But as noted, I like a customer who insists that they get what they paid for.

      • The order of A320/321 changed from ceo to neo over the years.

        Amnesia is a disease. Spreading misinformation is a crime.

      • Not the first time you’ve made this mistake. The A321neos were ordered in 2017.

        Judging by QR’s statements to the court, they really want them and the MAX mou is just cover ‘in case’.

        • Stealth66:

          I stand corrected, not sure where I got the data bit.

          Did they start negotiating for the order in 2011?

      • Its not about getting ‘what they paid for’

        I have experience of customers who having agreed to a price early on then later want to renegotiate on price or the service or both together.

        Its a power thing

      • -I was referring to Faury’s forthright, unequivocal and eloquent statement on the Ukrainian crisis. Better than a US presidents ghost written speech though not quite up there with Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” and the “pay any price, carry any burden speech”.
        -As far as Qatar getting what it ordered. Qatar likes to be ‘launch customer’ and make florid flamboyant launch statements. They like poncing around on stage for the publicity basically flashing their oil wealth. They certainly don’t act like a ‘launch customer’ nor do they have the capability.
        -Lufthansa is a real launch customer having launched more aircraft than any other airline. A case in point is when Lufthansa was launch customer for the PW1100G A320/A321neo. Lufthansa certainly talked about the problems it was having. Half the aircraft were grounded at one point with engine issues. The engines took so long to warm up they ate into the fuel savings. But Lufthansa didn’t besmirch Pratt & Whitney. Their attitude was to work with P&W to solve the expected problems for a new engine type. In the end they triumphed. No doubt it cost some money to Pratt & Whitney but they budgeted for that.
        So it will be Lufthansa, BA (Air France) that will debug the B777-9 not Qatar or even Emirates.
        I’ve been in your position as a maintenance guy. In a professional organisation the maintenance guy is a respected professional. He has resources, is involved in purchase decisions and when a new aircraft is brought on board consideration is given to its extra needs. Project managers don’t get away with using up the spare parts budget to fund cost over runs. Of course that doesn’t happen in some organisations and those are the rubbish ones with lots of problems. Aircraft are brought and no consideration to trainings, finishing manuals and documents, on going service and engineering to tweak the issues away as they are discovered, sturdied and analysed..
        If Qatar was launching a Turkish/Ottoman era luxury bordello it would be of uncompromising décor and taste of the same standard as a Qatar 1st class cabin. AlB would reject anything that wasn’t perfection and too his impeccable taste. However this is not the same as running a top notch maintenance and engineering arm and the systems analysis needed to run the technical side of an airline.

  6. An interesting indication of how thorough Airbus has been in its root cause analysis of the paint problem:

    21.2.1. In relation to the first sentence, the memorandum sets out clearly that the root causes of these cracks (most of which were miniscule) are the stress peak at the step discontinuities between the liveried and non-liveried areas, combined with the different thermal properties of the basecoat and clearcoat such that “together with the internal stresses created by the differences in the thermal expansion co-efficient of the primer relative to the underlying composite structure, a crack appears at the paint surface”. It is specifically denied that this was a merely a hypothesis or that it was asserted without “any substantiation to prove the theory”: the memorandum refers in terms to having confirmed the stress concentrations at the step discontinuities through a paint system finite-element model simulation and to thermal shock cycling testing which substantiated the root cause finding set out in the memorandum.

    21.5.1. This memorandum analysed the root cause of “rivet rash” (i.e. the well-known phenomenon of paint peeling from the heads of fasteners, which is seen on many different types of aircraft, including those with both metallic and composite airframes, and not just the A350). The issue of “rivet rash” on the A350 had previously been identified by Airbus, prior to the inspection of MSN 36 in Shannon, and this issue had already been the subject of detailed analysis by Airbus since at least 2018. Airbus’ conclusions were set out in the memorandum.

    21.5.2. The memorandum referred to laboratory tests and analysis of fastener heads and corresponding paint chips that had been carried out and showed that the paint separated from the fastener head due to:
    (1) a weak adhesive interface between the paint and titanium fastener heads that had undergone sulphuric acid anodysing (“SAA”) treatment; and
    (2) paint cracking around the fastener head resulting from micro-movements of the fastener.

    21.5.3. The memorandum explained that these factors, combined with exposure to the elements, led to the separation of the paint from the fastener head. The root cause of rivet rash was therefore identified.

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