Airbus cancels all remaining A350s for Qatar Airways

According to Reuters, Airbus has taken a drastic step and cancelled all remaining orders for A350s for Qatar Airways. In total, the airline still had open orders for nineteen A350-1000s. Over the last months, Airbus has already cancelled four A350-1000s destined for Qatar Airways when the airline refused to take delivery and pay for the aircraft.

The move by Airbus is another chapter in the dispute between the manufacturer and the airline. Qatar Airways has grounded half of its A350-fleet due to peeling paint, which according to the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority poses a safety risk, and is holding the manufacturer accountable for the damages the grounding costs. It also wants to see a root-cause analysis as well as a permanent fix before taking delivery of any new A350. Airbus in its turn states the peeling paint is purely cosmetic and isn't a safety risk, a conclusion shared by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

As a result of the dispute, Qatar Airways has filed an official complaint with the Hight Court in London and this case is now being tried.

Next to cancelling the A350s, Airbus earlier also decided to scrap the order for 50 A321neos for Qatar Airways. This decision was also challenged by the airline but the High Court of London ruled that Airbus was in its right to cancel the order.

If the news of Reuters is indeed confirmed by Airbus, it will mean Qatar Airways is effectively not a customer anymore apart from the Airbuses it currently operates.

Photo by Anton Homma.

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