The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in charge of regulating the airline industry within the European Union, said it “found no evidence” that the problems with the Airbus A350 represented a safety problem.
The model is at the center of a legal dispute between the manufacturer and Qatar Airways, with the companies at odds over the airworthiness of Airbus’ latest long-haul aircraft. According to the airline, deterioration in the plane’s outer layers exposed lightning protection. This led Qatar to ground more than 20 units of the type.
Airbus, for its part, has always been backed by EASA. Although the manufacturer has acknowledged the existence of “quality problems” in the planes of several airlines, it denies that these pose a risk to safety.
According to Reuters reports , Patrick Ky, director of EASA, defended the position of the organization he leads, pointing out during a visit to Washington, United States, that from the regulator “we have inspected the Airbus A350 and we did not see any damage that could imply safety problems” .
There could be awkward moments
The dispute will be the backdrop for the IATA world meeting, to be held in Qatar from June 19 to 21 . Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has already confirmed that he will attend the event, which is being hosted by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Additional seasoning will be the presence of Willie Walsh, director of IATA, who has also let us know what he thinks of the conflict. Last year, the manager warned that “manufacturers should not take advantage of their position in the market”, calling Airbus’ decision to terminate the contract for fifty A321neos that Qatar had ordered “unprecedented and worrying”.