AZAL follows Garuda’s lead and cancels Boeing 737 Max order, Lion Air likely to do the same

©AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines

With Garuda Indonesia (Garuda) the first airline to officially cancel an order for Boeing’s troubled 737 Max jet, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), the flag-carrying airline, has confirmed it is to cancel its US$1 billion order for ten of the narrow-body jets. Garuda’s cancelation was a major blow to Boeing as the original order was for 50 of the jets at a combined value of US$4.9 billion at list price. Garuda had already taken delivery of the first jet of the order that was placed back in 2014 and is also discussing the plane’s return to Boeing.

When announcing the order cancelation on March 22, Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan commented: “We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled,” adding: “The reason is that Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence.” As a consequence, Boeing officials will be visiting Indonesia to discuss options with Garuda. The Indonesian carrier has made it clear that it has not lost total confidence in Boeing itself. “In principle, it’s not that we want to replace Boeing, but maybe we will replace these planes with another model,” Garuda’s director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra commented to the press.

In relation to the latest news from the Azrbaijan carrier, “AZAL refused to buy 10 aircraft from Boeing due to safety reasons,” AZAL spokesperson Pasha Kesaminsy told Reuters. Beyond this, Indonesia’s largest carrier, Lion Air which operates ten of the 737 MAX 8 variants as part of an original order worth a record US$22 billion, recently postponed delivery of four of the planes with the company SEO stating publicly that a total cancelation of the order was an option being considered.

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