TOULOUSE, FRANCEOn Jan 20, the European aerospace giant raised the dispute to another level with its largest customer Qatar Airways. The planemaker revoked the orders of the Qatari carrier for 50 A321neo aircraft.

After this stage, it would be appropriate to say that the relations between the two companies will become even tenser.

Qatar Airways, which has recently sued Airbus over A350 painting quality issues, claims for US$600 in compensation. The case will be handled at Britain's High Court.

As a countermeasure, Airbus announced yesterday that it canceled a Qatar Airways order for 50 A321neo jets.

"We confirm we did terminate the contract for 50 A321s with Qatar Airways in accordance with our rights," an Airbus spokesman said.

The Qatari flag carrier made no immediate comment after this announcement.

The order originates from a deal first signed 10 years ago which was then worth US$4.6 billion at list prices. It was later altered for 50 A321neo jets, the planemaker's best-selling newer generation single-aisle jets.

Qatar's civil aviation regulator grounded 21 out of the carrier's 53 A350 jets as crises arose over the painting flaws of the planes. Airbus acknowledges the problem but claimed it was not a safety issue.

Qatar Airways is now seeking US$618 million in compensation for the 21 grounded jets plus US$4 million a day as the row drags on.

The airline is also asking British judges to order Airbus not to attempt to deliver any more of the jets until the problem is fixed.