PARIS: Airbus and Qatar Airways have settled a dispute over surface damage on grounded A350 jets, the companies said on Wednesday, averting a potentially damaging UK court trial.

The “amicable settlement” ends a $2 billion row over the safety of Europe’s premier long-haul jet - an unprecedented public rift that had led Airbus to revoke dozens of other jet orders from Qatar ahead of a scheduled June court trial.

The companies said the deal was not an admission of liability by either party, both of which would drop their legal claims and “move forward and work together as partners”.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire welcomed the settlement.

The announcement comes after Reuters reported that a deal could be reached as early as Wednesday.

Qatar had challenged the world’s largest planemaker over safety and taken it to court after cracks in the painted surface exposed gaps in a sub-layer of A350 lightning protection, prompting its regulator to ground 29 of the jets.

Airbus has acknowledged quality flaws but insisted that the jets are safe.


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