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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lebedev Will Cancel $1Bln Airbus Order

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev said Friday that he would have to scrap a $1 billion order for Airbus SAS jetliners after Germany revoked the operating license of his Blue Wings airline.

"If they don't let us fly, we won't need those 20 jets that we ordered," Lebedev said through a spokesman.

Germany's LBA aviation authority said Tuesday that it had terminated DЯsseldorf-based Blue Wings' license "effective immediately," citing unspecified "business problems" at the company. Lebedev said Thursday that the move was unwarranted and that he would appeal.

Blue Wings has 10 Airbus A320s that are used for scheduled flights between Germany and Russia and charter flights to tourist destinations in Turkey and the Middle East. Lebedev, who bought about 48 percent of the airline in 2006 to become its biggest shareholder, planned to add routes throughout the former Soviet Union with the 20 new A320s.

Cyprus-based Nondwell Investment and Blue Wings CEO JЪrn Hellwig, who founded the airline, each own 26 percent of the company, which had sales of about 150 million euros ($202 million) last year Lebedev said.

Airbus does not comment on transactions, a spokeswoman said.

Lebedev, a business and political partner of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, controls about 29 percent of Aeroflot, the biggest carrier in Eastern Europe.