PARIS (Reuters) - Qatar Airways has canceled orders for four A350-900 aircraft, citing delays in deliveries as Airbus deals with supplier problems, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Airbus (AIR.PA) was not immediately available to comment on the cancellation, which was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Qatar Airways was the launch customer for the newest European wide-body aircraft and has ordered a total of 80.
The cancellation follows concerns about delays and quality problems on cabin equipment for the A350, and also comes at a time when Qatar is entering the second month of a crisis caused by a boycott of airspace by neighboring Gulf states.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said earlier any delays with the delivery of the Airbus long-haul jets were the responsibility of the European planemaker.
“We are asking Airbus to deliver it faster,” he told a Dublin news conference. “The delay is from Airbus.”
Asked about the Airbus cancellation, a spokesman declined to add to Al Baker’s earlier remarks.
Qatar Airways has a reputation for being demanding when reviewing aircraft for quality defects before delivery, while Airbus has been wrestling with supplier problems and quality issues on the A350, which sells for $311 million at list prices.
However, some analysts have speculated the political crisis may give the airline a further incentive to slow deliveries.
Al Baker said at the Paris Airshow last month the rift would not halt Qatar Airways’ growth or plans to accept delivery of new aircraft, adding it was seeing demand return.
Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alexander Cornwell; editing by Michel Rose