Qatar Airways and Airbus are at loggerheads: while the airline is claiming damages for paintwork defects on its A350 fleet, the European aircraft manufacturer prefers to rectify the problem itself. Now Airbus is said to have cut all wide-body jet business with Qatar.
According to insiders, Airbus has canceled the remaining orders for A350 wide-body jets in a dispute with the airline Qatar Airways. According to industry circles, it is about all copies for the company from the Arab Emirate of Qatar that have not yet been delivered. A spokesman for the world's largest aircraft manufacturer declined to comment on the case.
At the end of June, the delivery of 19 copies of the long version A350-1000 to the Qatari was still open in Airbus' books. The airline sued the European manufacturer in London in December for at least 1.4 billion euros in damages after damage to the paintwork and surface coating of a number of its 53 A350 jets was discovered.
While Qatar Airways saw this as a safety issue, Airbus and the European aviation authority EASA saw things differently. Airbus offered to repair the damage at its own expense, but Qatar Airways declined. As recently as May, a British court ruled that the company had to accept and pay for the remaining A350 jets on order.
In the course of the dispute, Airbus had already canceled another major order from the Qataris in January. It was about 50 examples of the medium-haul jet A321neo, which is currently in high demand on the market. According to a court decision in April, Airbus can now sell the machines to other customers.
For its part, Qatar Airways has signed a preliminary contract with its US competitor Boeing for 25 Boeing 737 Max and secured options for a further 25 machines. However, the long version 737 Max 10 still lacks official approval. With the machines in the long version 737 Max 10, Qatar Airways wants to secure an alternative to the Airbus A321neo.