Airbus warns it may sue airlines

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PARIS: A stand-off between airplane manufacturers and airlines over the coronavirus crisis is intensifying after Airbus signalled it would sue airlines that refuse to honour contracts.

The warning by Chief Executive Guillaume Faury in a news interview came as Airbus prepared to unveil what industry sources expect to be another weak month of delivery data in May.

Planemakers and lessors have received multiple requests from airlines to delay deliveries due to the slump in air travel.

Faury told Politico that some airlines, which he did not identify, had refused to take calls at the height of the crisis, but that he hoped for a compromise.

“It will remain, I hope, the exception because we always try to find a different route than going to court,” Faury said.

“But if and when airlines – and it’s happening – have no other choice than fully defaulting and not proposing something better than nothing, or are not willing to do it, then (lawsuits) will happen.” Industry sources said such public warnings are rare in the tight-knit aviation market and could backfire. —Agencies

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