Airbus cancels $6 billion deal with Qatar Airways 50 planes

In an unprecedented decision in the aviation industries, the European Airbus Group canceled an order for Qatar Airways for 50 A321neo planes, in an escalation between the European Aerospace Industries Group and one of its biggest customers who criticized it for defects in the A350 planes.
The decision falls within the framework of the dispute between the aircraft manufacturer and the airline, which has suspended some of its A350 aircraft due to the deterioration of the outer surfaces of the hulls of these aircraft, and initiated legal proceedings against Airbus before the British court.

The European group’s response was strong, as a spokesman for its spokesman confirmed information published by the financial news agency Bloomberg, saying: “We confirm that we have terminated the contract of 50 A321 aircraft with Qatar Airways, according to our right.”

According to the bid price that was last published by Airbus in 2018, which was not applied due to rebates, the order amounts to more than $6 billion.

Airbus, which intends to “defend its position and reputation”, confirmed that the matter was about “resolving the dispute, which the two parties were unable to resolve through direct and open discussions,” as stated in a statement characterized by an unusually sharp tone targeting one of the group’s most important customers and the second largest airline in the Middle East. , after Emirates Airlines.

Qatar Airways preferred to present the case to the British judiciary.

During Thursday’s hearing before the High Court of Justice in London, each side presented its arguments.

Qatar Airways has demanded $618 million in compensation and a fine of $4 million for each additional day of paralyzing its A350 aircraft, an informed source said.

For its part, Airbus invoked the “deficiency in contract” clause to refuse to receive additional A350s to justify canceling the A321neo order.

This single-aisle aircraft, which has no equivalent in capacity and flight distance to American competition Boeing, is at the heart of Airbus’ strategy and commercial success, as the “A321neo” alone in 2021 represented three-quarters of the orders from the European group.

With orders of about 3,400 A321 aircraft, Airbus has several years in production.

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