Airbus has confirmed that it has terminated a contract to sell 50 A321neos to Qatar Airways, a company spokesman told Bloomberg News.
“We confirm we did terminate the contract for 50 A321s with Qatar Airways in accordance with our rights,” said the company’s representative, without giving reasons.
The decision to break the deal with the Middle East carrier was announced during a hearing at the UK High Court in London on Thursday, according to Reuters sources.
Qatar Airways and Airbus are in the midst of a legal dispute over paint degradation problems on 21 of their A350s. The airline accuses the planemaker of not recognizing the seriousness of the issue and not taking steps to resolve it.
Due to the impasse, Qatar withdrew the aircraft from service because it believed there were risks in relation to safety, which Airbus vehemently denies.
The order for 50 A321neos was placed by Qatar in 2017 and that was modified in 2019 to include the long-range A321neo LR variant. The models are of the ACF type, with a more flexible configuration in order to meet various types of routes.
Qatar’s first A321neo would be delivered in February 2023 and the company has made it clear that will demand compliance with the contract.
Airbus’ best-selling aircraft in recent years, the A321neo has a long queue, making the slots occupied by Qatar on the assembly line quite attractive to other customers.