What happened to Qatar’s Boeing 737 MAX 10 order?
The courtroom battle between Qatar Airways and Airbus has reportedly revealed the fate of the air carrier’s Boeing 737 MAX 10 order, making it the third aircraft type cited in the disputeThe fate of Qatar Airway’s aircraft order with Boeing has allegedly been revealed in the latest chapter of the dispute between the Gulf carrier and Airbus..
Qatar Airways and Boeing revealed the MAX 10 deal in late January 2022. Back then, the announcement of the airline’s order for the 777X freighter also listed 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10s as well as options for 25 more.
Now, Reuters is reporting that the 737 MAX 10 deal between the Gulf airline and the United States plane maker has now “expired”, according to documents submitted by Airbus. The publication explains that the European manufacturer requested information about the Boeing deal after Qatar Airways included it in its request for A350 damages compensation.
Qatar Airways and Airbus are embroiled in a dispute over the Airbus A350 XWB paint quality. In December 2021, the airline announced that it had started legal proceedings against the European manufacturer in a UK court.
The Gulf carrier, which has more than 50 A350s in its fleet, claims it had to ground multiple aircraft of the type due to a fuselage surface degradation issue and is seeking $6 billion damages compensation.
In January 2022, Airbus terminated a separate contract with the airline for 50 Airbus A321neo aircraft. The court initially ordered the plane maker to halt “practical implementation” of the contract termination, preventing it from allocating delivery slots to other customers.
However, in April 2022 it gave Airbus the green light to cancel both the A321neo contract as well as to sell A350s that Qatar Airways rejected after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency had established that they were safe to operate.
On May 26, 2022, the High Court in London ruled that the dispute will be brought to trial in the summer of 2023 under an expedited process.
The news about Qatar’s allegedly “expired” MAX 10 order come at a time when the future of the largest variant of the 737 MAX family aircraft appears uncertain due to certification issue with US regulators.
Launched in 2017, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 is currently under development. The aircraft type must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in order to enter commercial service. However, the deadline for getting the authority’s approval is set for the end of 2022. If the aircraft is not certified by then, only the US Congress can extend the deadline.
Earlier in July 2022, Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun admitted in an interview that there was a risk Boeing could cancel the MAX 10 program over the issue.
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