Indonesian airline Garuda said today that it’s canceling a multibillion-dollar order for Boeing’s 737 Max 8 after the plane was involved in two deadly crashes in less than five months.
“Our passengers have lost confidence to fly with the Max 8,” Garuda spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan told CNN.
The Indonesian carrier ordered 50 of the planes in 2014 for $4.9 billion. It has taken delivery of one of them but has now sent a letter to Boeing saying it no longer wants to receive the remaining jets on order, Ikhsan said. It’s the first airline to say it’s canceling the 737 Max 8 order.
It’s the latest blow to Boeing over the 737 Max, its bestselling passenger jet. The planes have been grounded worldwide over safety concerns following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight earlier this month.
Boeing representatives are planning to visit Jakarta on March 28 to discuss the cancellation request with the airline, Ikhsan said.
A Boeing spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on “customer discussions.”
Aviation authorities around the world have grounded the 737 Max following the Ethiopia crash. Many airlines have announced they won’t fly the planes until they know more about the circumstances surrounding the crash. The grounding is expected to cost Boeing billions of dollars.
The big question remains… Is this the beginning of the end for the 737 MAX?