DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — European aircraft maker Airbus has terminated a multi-billion dollar order from Qatar Airways for 50 of its popular A321neo single-aisle jets.

The termination of the A321neo contract, confirmed by the aircraft manufacturer to The Associated Press on Friday, comes as Airbus and one of its biggest customers, Qatar Airways, are embroiled in a legal dispute over the grounding of the largest twin-aisle A350 aircraft. .

In December, Qatar’s flag carrier announced it was suing Airbus in London over what it described as the “accelerated surface degradation” of the widebody A350. Qatar Airways said it had no choice but to ground a number of planes, 21 of which are now out of service.

The termination of the Airbus contract for its 321neo follows Qatar Airways’ refusal to take other A350s until the problem is resolved.

The state-owned airline will rely on the long-haul A350 for the increased influx of passengers to Qatar for the month-long 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be played in the Gulf Arab state from November 21 .

Qatar Airways has a fleet of 53 Airbus A350s across its 1000 and 900 series. The airline has more on order with the France-based aircraft maker, making its total order of 76 A350s the largest of any airline in the world. the world.

In a brief comment to the AP, Airbus confirmed it had terminated a contract for 50 A321s ordered by Qatar Airways. The airline did not provide further details.

Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the A321neo contract.

The cancellation of the order was first reported by Bloomberg.

In a public statement last year, Qatar Airways said it had no choice but to seek a solution through the courts to ensure that Airbus undertakes a thorough investigation into the root cause of the undermining. aircraft fuselage painting. Qatar Airways asserts that otherwise it is not possible to establish whether a proposed remedy will correct the underlying condition.

Airbus had said it intended to vigorously defend its position as no other airline using the A350 had grounded the plane for safety reasons.

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