Skip to main content

Airbus fires Qatar as a customer


No, the headline isn't a bizarre joke. A bitter dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus over possible defects in Qatar's A350 planes has led to Airbus unilaterally canceling Qatar's order for 50 A321neo planes.

The dispute, which is taking place in public statements as well as in a lawsuit in London, started when Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority grounded some of Qatar's A350s over peeling paint and surface degradation issues. Airbus claimed at the time, a year ago, that the issue was cosmetic and at one point accused Qatar of trumping it up to get money from Airbus.

At least five other airlines, according to Reuters, have noted paint and surface flaws on the plane since 2016, but neither they nor their governments have ordered a grounding.

Among the cascading events that followed were Qatar's refusal to take more A350s until the issue is resolved, and Airbus claiming that Qatar was damaging its reputation with inflated claims. Qatar has also filed a claim in UK High Court asking $600 million in damages and compensation for the grounding of its planes, which Airbus says don't need to be grounded.

And now, after a preliminary hearing on that case, Airbus has confirmed canceling the separate order for A321s, ten of which were to be the A321LR long-range model. While it is not uncommon for airlines to cancel orders when business conditions change, this is believed to be the only instance ever of a unilateral cancelation by a manufacturer.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.