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IATA chief voices concerns over Airbus-Qatar jet order row

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The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) waded into a high-profile dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways on Tuesday, saying the plane maker’s decision to cancel a jetliner contract was a new and “worrying” development.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh, who ran airlines group IAG before taking the helm of the industry’s trade body, said he and other airline industry chiefs hoped to understand what lay behind the dispute and told reporters it was important for relations between airlines and suppliers to return to normal.

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Last Friday, Airbus cancelled an order of 50 A321neo aircraft from Qatar Airways in an escalating dispute over Doha grounding the plane maker’s bigger A350.

“We confirm that we have terminated the contract for 50 A321s with Qatar Airways, in accordance with our rights,” an Airbus spokesman told AFP following a Bloomberg report on the decision.

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