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The following code allows me to save a text file with .xls extension in Python. When I open it, I receive the following warning:

The file you are trying to open, is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Verify that the file is not corrupted and is from a trusted source before opening the file. Do you want to open the file now?

def saveExcel (layer,name):
  # get the path
  pathSave=getDirectoryPath()
  chdir(pathSave)
  filename=name+".xls"
  f=open(filename,"w")
  # Save fields'names
  for field in layer.fields():
    f.write(field.name()+ "\t")
  f.write("\n")
  # Save attributes
  for element in layer.getFeatures():
    for field in layer.fields():
      f.write(str(element.attribute(field.name()))+ "\t")
    f.write("\n")
  f.close()
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If you are in QGIS environment you could make a QgsVectorLayer with your data and export that as xlsx:

QgsVectorFileWriter.writeAsVectorFormat(layer, path, "utf-8", layer.crs(), 'xlsx')

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