Qatar Airways has grounded its fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft owing to concerns over an "accelerate rate" of degradation of the surface of the aircraft’s fuselage.
The airline said it would return its A330 aircraft to service with immediate effect to offset the impact of the A350 grounding, and stressed it was looking into other solutions as well.
Thirteen of Qatar’s A350s have been grounded following an explicit written instruction from its regulator.
"The airline is working with its regulator to ensure the continued safety of all passengers," said Qatar, adding it was also cooperating with all affected leasing companies.
Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said Qatar would not be taking any further A350 deliveries from Airbus until the manufacturer had "established and permanently corrected" the root cause of the problem. "We sincerely expect Airbus treats this matter with the proper attention that it requires," said Al Baker.
"Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.”
In a statement, the airline said it had found "the fuselage surface below the paint degrading at an accelerated rate".
An Airbus spokesperson said: "We do not comment on our customers’ operations. As a leading aircraft manufacturer, we are always in talks with our customers. Those talks we keep confidential."