Qatar Airways Says Airbus Exerted Influence Over Regulator in Paint Dispute

LONDON–Qatar Airways Ltd. has accused Airbus SE of being too close to its safety regulator in a multibillion-dollar legal dispute over paint chipping on the body and wings of one of its flagship aircraft.

The airline made the accusation Friday in a statement to a London court as part of a case in which it claims that surface-paint issues on its fleet of A350s present a safety risk. Qatar Airways has grounded 29 aircraft over the issue, reducing its capacity as it prepares for a surge in travel to Doha for soccer’s 2022 FIFA World Cup, which starts this month.