JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia's National Airline Garuda Indonesia Is Back After the fatal crash involving two of the planes, the order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets returned Spokesman for the company.
The decision is made less than two weeks after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. Shortly after the departure of Jakarta, a flight from Lion Air, a low-cost Indonesian airline, crashed in October, killing all 189 passengers and crew members.
Both crashes affected the 737 Max 8 model, putting Boeing, based in the US, to the test, which marketed the 737 Max 8 as a fuel-efficient aircraft of the future, and the Federal Aviation Administration. It is believed that Garuda Indonesia's cancellation was the first replacement of an order for the aircraft in response to the crashes.
Ikhsan Rosan, a spokesman for Garuda Indonesia, told the Washington Post that the decision to cancel the order was "low confidence" in the aircraft after the crashes. The order was first announced in October 2014.
Rosan said airline officials wrote to Boeing saying that they would meet with Boeing's representative to discuss the matter on March 28 for talks with customers.
"The discussion will not be easy," he said. Rosani said Garuda Indonesia ordered 50 of the planes, and one was delivered, but was down after the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month. Garuda Indonesia has a fleet size of 144 aircraft, according to the company's website. A further 58 aircraft are operated by its low-cost carrier Citilink.
Authorities investigating the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 say faulty sensor data has triggered an automated anti-stall function (MCAS) in the new Max aircraft. The mishap pushed the nose of the aircraft down further, so that it finally crashed into the Java Sea, investigators found out. Divers searched the waters off the coast of Jakarta for the two "black boxes" of the plane. The voice recorder was recovered in January.
The Ethiopian Airlines crash seemed to be similar to the Lion Air case, including irregular boarding and boarding and the pilot reporting problems with "flight control" shortly before the crash. Investigators in France and Ethiopia then said that the information provided by the Ethiopian flight data recorder showed "clear similarities" with the Lion Air flight.
On Thursday, investigators in Jakarta confirmed that a third pilot during a flight aboard the same Lion Air aircraft was October 28, a day before the crash. During this flight, the aircraft experienced similar problems with the MCAS system, but the pilot allegedly disconnected the system.
The US Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice investigate the Boeing 737 Max after the crashes.