The legal battle between the two airlines resulted in the sale of planes to other airlines. This is bad news for those of us who like flying Qatar Airways, and good news for any airline that is looking to move forward some delivery slots.

The legal dispute between Qatar Airways & Airbus

The $600+ million legal dispute started with the A350. The A350 fleet has been grounded by Qatar Airways because the fuselage surface is degrading at an accelerated rate. The issues have been argued that they are not real.

This has caused relations between the airline and aircraft manufacturer to sour significantly, and in January 2022, it was decided that the agreement to sell the A321neos would be terminated. The reason for this is that Qatar Airways refused to take delivery of the A350s, putting them into default on new planes.

In February of 2022, a UK judge ordered the delay of the revocation of the A321neo order. This prevented other airlines from getting the early delivery slots. Rather, the contract would have to be put on hold until a court hearing takes place this month.

The Airbus & Qatar Airways dispute started with the A350

Judge denies Qatar Airways’ A321neo request

There is an update today regarding this court case. According to a report, a UK judge has dismissed the claims of the A321neo jets being sold to Qatar Airways. I think there will be a lot of interest in these planes since they are free to be allocated to other airlines.

It is possible that the two airlines could reconcile, but there is no reason to believe that is the case.

Airbus now has some spare A321neo delivery slots

What this means for Qatar Airways’ narrow body fleet

If we leave regional jets out of the equation, the international commercial aircraft manufacturing industry would be a bit of a duopoly. The airline is stuck with Boeing because of the no longer doing business with Airbus.

25 confirmed orders and 25 options were included in the order for up to 50 Boeing MAX aircraft that was placed in January of 2022. This was meant to replace the A321neo order, given the lack of options.

The current fleet of 32 A320s and A321s is expected to be retired in the next couple of years.

I think the A321neo is a better plane to fly than the 737 MAX.

  • From a passenger comfort standpoint, I prefer the A321neo to the 737 MAX
  • The A321neo is a much more versatile aircraft, especially in terms of range, with the A321LR variant offering extra range, and the A321XLR variant (coming in 2023) offering even more range
  • With Qatar Airways currently having Airbus narrow body aircraft, it would have been a much easier transition maintaining an Airbus fleet
Qatar Airways has ordered Boeing 737 MAXs

Bottom line

The A321neo was the subject of a legal battle between the airlines. The airline tried to block the sale of the A321neos to it, but the contract was terminated by the airline. A judge has thrown out the case.

I think that anything is possible, and that the two airlines can reconcile. If not, it will be stuck with the Boeing MAX.

What do you think about this development?