Aviation

Garuda cancels order for 49 737 Max jets, while Virgin mulls options

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Garuda Indonesia has become the first carrier in the world to scrap its order of 737 Max jets, citing a lack of passenger trust following the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

The company is cancelling its multi-billion dollar deal for 49 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, The Guardian reported, amid ongoing passenger distrust over two tragic disasters involving the jet.

The multibillion-dollar order was first announced in October 2014, with the promise of 50 737 Max aircraft. Garuda has so far only taken one of the aircraft and paid Boeing around $26 million, Agence France Presse (AFP) report.

Ikhsan Rosan, a spokesperson for Garuda Indonesia, told The Washington Post the decision to cancel the order was because of “consumers’ low confidence” in the aircraft following the crashes.

All but two of the 189 people who perished in the Lion Air-operated 737 Max crash near Jakarta in October were Indonesian nationals.

Rosan said airline officials told Boeing of the decision by letter, The Post report, and were scheduled to meet with representatives from Boeing to discuss the matter on 28 March.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is set to meet with Boeing regarding the safety of its 737 Max aircraft. A spokesperson for Virgin said the following:

“Virgin Australia will be sending two of its most senior flight operations team members to Seattle for an information session on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft…we look forward to hearing what Boeing has to say.

“We remain firm in our position that we won’t receive any new aircraft into our fleet until we are completely satisfied with their safety.”

Virgin Australia does not currently have any Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with Boeing, CASA, and other relevant authorities as more information becomes available,” a spokesperson for Virgin Australia said.

Garuda’s request for cancellation comes amid Boeing’s promise of enhanced warning systems as standard in 737 Max jets. Prior to the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, certain safety features were sold optionally by Boeing.

Late last week, The New York Times alleged that many low-cost carriers, including Lion Air, opted not to buy these extra safety features, while regulators did not require them for certification.

Both aircraft in the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes, which resulted in the loss of 346 lives, lacked these optional safety features.

Boeing shares have fallen by 12 per cent, wiping $28bn off its market value since the Ethiopian crash on 10 March. The company is further facing a criminal investigation by US Department of Transportation agents, which now involves the FBI, the Seattle Times report.

The federal grand jury investigation, based in Washington, D.C., is looking into the certification process that approved the safety of the new Boeing plane.

Investigations into the crash and the recent Ethiopian Airlines disaster are ongoing, however, regulators – including the Ethiopian transport minister – have already noted clear similarities between the two crashes.

Garuda Indonesia’s director, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra, told Indonesian media outlet Detik that it would consider switching to a new version of the jet.

“In principle, it’s not that we want to replace Boeing, but maybe we will replace [these planes] with another model,” Danadiputra said.

The Guardian also reported Lion Air is considering scrapping its own 737 Max order.



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Scoot launches flights to South Korea’s ‘Hawaii of East Asia’

Want a Hawaiian holiday but got yourself banned on your last trip? Here’s the next best thing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Register for duo, Air New Zealand’s new training and engagement hub and be in the draw to win some epic prizes

Air New Zealand launched its new training and engagement hub called duo, with training, campaigns, incentives the latest brand updates, plus more.

Share

CommentComments

News

Samoa finally announces border re-opening!

The Pacific Island paradise has been working hard to get travel ready and will soon welcome Aussies back to its sunny shores!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“Heroic” flight attendant comes to the rescue as woman gives birth on Frontier Airlines flight

We here at Travel Weekly think this woman deserves a raise, or at least an honorary midwifery degree.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Are you a ‘local legend’? Bonza is on the lookout for 17 ambassadors!

We feel as though a local legend could either be a dedicated charity worker in the community or someone who frequently drinks beer out of a shoe!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE speaker Matt Endycott from nib chats all things travel! Get your tickets now!

We’ve got Matt Endycott – one of our exciting speakers – to share his thoughts on the industry. Come to Travel DAZE to hear Matt discuss all things travel!

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Catch-up with TRAVLR’s Roann Roberts

We love an alliterative name, all the best superheroes and villains have them. We’re not sure where TRAVLR’s head of global travel product sits on that spectrum, though.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas relaunches Perth-London route, ramps up trans-tasman flights, secures majority stake in TripADeal

Flights resuming to NZ mean that it will be much easier for the all blacks to come over and quickly beat Australia over and over again.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Qatar hotels warned by Fifa over LGBTQ+ discrimination

World Cup controversy has already kicked off before the first match has begun! It’s clear Fifa is taking some lessons from the Australian Open.

Share

CommentComments

News

Japan and Thailand to further ease travel restrictions from 1 June

We thought a nice photo of cherry blossoms in full bloom at Himeji-Jo Castle would be a lot nicer than of some guy getting a swab shoved up his nose for the story.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Star Entertainment Group appoints new interim chairman and CEO

Similarly, we’ve appointed our office dog as the new chief zoomies officer, which is a big improvement on her previous role as VP of weeing in the hallway.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions announces maiden voyage for new ship the Sylvia Earle

The expedition cruise line has revealed some smashing destinations for its new ship’s bid debut, so get ready to go penguin spotting!

Share

CommentComments