Qatar Airways took a $4 million-a-day dispute with Europe's Airbus to social media on Friday, posting a video of the damaged exterior of A350 jets that the airline called "serious and legitimate safety concerns."
Airbus has claimed that the two parties are locked for months in a spiralling dispute over whether and when the passenger jets are painted and anti-lightning protection is needed, despite this being a serious concern.
Qatar Airways has received the first official image of planes grounded by its regulator following Airbus' accusations that it's engineering the dispute to obtain compensation.
Qatar Airways has thrown out 21 A350 fighters, and has reportedly broken down the airline's preparations for the World Cup later this year.
Qatar Airways is pressing for compensation of more than $600 million in a London court, while Airbus raised the stakes on Thursday by revoking a separate order for 50 A321neos, portraying the rift as a contractual rather than safety spat.
Qatar Airways demonstrates two A350s grounded by the country's regulator in a video lasting just over a minute and a half.
Airbus has said there is "no reasonable or rational basis" for the groundings, which have not been matched by A350 operators in other countries.
The clip showed damage to underlying anti-lightning protection, peeling or missing paint and what the airline described as tampers of the underlying structural carbon fibre exposed to moisture and ultra-violet light.
As part of an investigation showing at least five other airlines had reported A350 surface damage since 2016, the images echoed the damage to their first aircraft.
"We continue to feel strongly that Airbus must undertake a thorough investigation of this condition to verify its true root cause," Qatar Airways said.
Airbus claims that it has provided the relevant information and that there is no airworthiness danger, according to a view shared by Europe's aviation regulator.
Airbus made no immediate comment on the video.