Airbus Cancels Qatar Airways Entire A350 Order

August 3, 2022

Qatar Airways Airbus A350

According to reports by One Mile at a Time and Reuters, Airbus has cancelled all upcoming A350 jet orders by Qatar Airways, although neither company has made any official comment as to the reason.

Well, most who have been following this saga know full well why...

This is related to a big legal dispute between the two companies about the condition of Airbus A350s that have already been delivered to Qatar. Qatar Airways says that the fuselage of the planes is degrading quickly, but according to Airbus, the damage is only cosmetic and will not affect flight safety.

With a total of 34 A350-900s and 40 A350-1000s, Qatar Airways was supposed to have 74 Airbus A350 planes in total ultimately delivered from the plane maker.

21 of the A350-1000 orders are still outstanding, and it's unclear if Qatar Airways will receive these planes. Airbus is likely to pursue reselling these jets to other airlines, as there is significant demand for the A350-1000 model.

This Standoff Has Affected an A321 Order Between the Two

Qatar Airways placed an order for 50 Airbus A321neo family aircraft earlier in the year, which Airbus canceled. Qatar then tried to stop the aircraft manufacturer from being able to resell the jets. A judge in the UK ruled in favor of Airbus that they were within their rights to cease the order.

Will Qatar be Forced to be an All-Boeing Customer?

The recent rift between Airbus and Qatar Airways may have consequences for the latter's aircraft orders. Since Airbus has canceled all of Qatar Airways' outstanding orders, Qatar looks like they HAVE to be committed to Boeing. 

Things aren't looking good for the Qatar/Airbus relationship at the moment, although it's possible that it will improve over time.

Qatar Has a Significant Outstanding Boeing Order, The 787 Deliveries Resumption Couldn't Have Come Fast Enough

Deliveries of the Boeing 787 will continue after an extended suspension owing to production difficulties, so Qatar Airways should be able to start receiving those planes soon.

However, Qatar's orders of the 737 MAX 10 haven't started yet as the variant has not been approved by regulators.

SGF Take: With Boeing's troubles (737 MAX 10 and the new 777) this puts Qatar in a very precarious situation. They've basically burned their bridge with Airbus (for now) and could soon find themselves pinched when it comes to getting new aircraft. Qatar might be forced to whimper back to Airbus and work something out (plus bring flowers).

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