Airbus revokes Qatar Airways' remaining A350-1000 orders

TOULOUSE, FRANCE — Airbus has repealed its agreement with Qatar Airways to supply the European plane maker's latest-generation widebody jets due to an ongoing conflict between the two companies over the deterioration of aircraft's paintings.


Airbus and Qatar Airways have been squaring accounts for months in a dispute over more than 20 grounded Qatari A350 jets. Qatar Airways claims that the rapid painting decay poses a flight safety risk, while Airbus denies it.

Qatar Airways was the launch operator of the Airbus A350. The first A350-900 entered service with Qatar Airways on 15 January 2015. The Qatari flag carrier sued Airbus for at least $1.4 billion after almost half of its A350 fleet was grounded by the country's civil aviation regulator over early surface damage and the anti-lightning mesh left exposed by peeling paint.

The airline declined to take delivery of more aircraft of the same type until Airbus fixes the issue and compensates for its losses. The airframer has admitted quality issues on the aircraft paintings but denied any safety risk, claiming ample backup.

The ongoing dispute between the two companies hasn't resulted in a bilateral agreement. In contrast, it caused the airline to lose its remaining orders. Airbus had previously canceled the airline's order for 50 A321neo single-aisle jets.

Qatar Airways currently has 34 A350-900s and 19 A350-1000s in its fleet. The airline had 19 more A350-1000s in its order book waiting for delivery before it was canceled by the European planemaker.

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