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Indonesian airline wants to cancel 737 MAX order

Garuda 737 MAX
An artist’s conception shows a Garuda Airlines 737 MAX jet in flight. (Boeing Illustration)

Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, is saying it wants to cancel an order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets, citing the effect of two catastrophic crashes on passenger confidence.

The order, announced in 2014, has a list-price value of roughly $6 billion. Only one of the 50 MAX jets ordered back then has been delivered to date.

In interviews with media outlets including ReutersThe Associated PressThe Washington PostCNNThe New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Garuda officials cited consumers’ low confidence in the 737 MAX in the wake of crashes that killed 189 people in Indonesia last October, and 157 people in Ethiopia this month.

“Many passengers told us they were afraid to get on a MAX 8,” Reuters quoted Garuda CEO Aria Askhara as saying.

Garuda’s request hints at the economic impact that the crashes could have going forward. Boeing’s 737 MAX jets have been grounded worldwide as the crash investigations continue.

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Lion Air 737 crash probe focuses on faulty sensor

Lion Air 737 MAX jet
An artist’s conception shows the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet. (Boeing Illustration)

Right from the start of last month’s fatal flight of a Lion Air 737 MAX jet from Indonesia, pilots were struggling with an automatic flight control system that had caused problems during a flight the day before, according to a preliminary investigative report.

The report — based on an analysis of readings from the jet’s flight data recorder, or “black box” — says the pilots on the Oct. 29 flight fought for 10 minutes to keep the Boeing jet’s nose from being pushed downward. But they lost the struggle against the automatic system, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS. The 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people aboard.

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