After Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded by authorities in multiple countries after two recent fatal crashes, Airline Garuda, Indonesia’s national airline, announced Friday its request to cancel the current order for 49 Max jets planes, valued at $4.9 billion.
The company may change its order to another type of Boeing jet. The carrier has so far paid Boeing about $26 million for the order. Garuda currently only has one 737 Max 8 in its fleet. Customer concerns were cited in the letter sent to Boeing. “Continuing the Max order does not benefit Garuda,” said the spokesman, Ikhsan Rosan. A 737 Max 8 operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea last October, killing all 189 people on board. Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said preliminary data shows that the second fatal accident had “a clear similarity.” Representatives from Boeing will visit Jakarta next week for “further discussion,” was known.
Boeing's entire fleet of 385 Max jets is currently grounded, with outstanding orders for some 4,600 planes. Garuda’s move is the first publicly confirmed attempt to cancel a Max 8 deal. Boeing’s chief executive said this week that the company was “taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 Max.” The company also faces increased scrutiny from regulators. Boeing’s share price has dropped about 12 percent.