The Jakarta Post
Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has said that Boeing has not yet agreed to the airline’s intention to cancel the order of 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes.
“[Boeing officials] have to discuss the matter internally,” said Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Askhara in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday, as reported by Antara.
However, he said Boeing understood Garuda Indonesia’s reasons for the cancelation, particularly because of the loss of passengers’ confidence in the aircraft, following the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month and a similar accident involving a Lion Air aircraft last October.
Therefore, Garuda and Boeing would meet again in April to discuss the possible restructuring of the contract on the Boeing 737 MAX 8, Ari said, adding that the aircraft manufacturer was expected to cooperate with Garuda to meet the airline’s fleet requirements.
“We still have confidence in the Boeing brand, but not the MAX 8 product, because the people, or our customers, have lost confidence in the product,” he said, adding that he believed Boeing would support Garuda Indonesia, because, as a flag carrier, the airline was Boeing’s key customer in Indonesia.
He vowed that Garuda Indonesia did not plan to shift its order to another aircraft maker but ask Boeing to offer the airline other types of aircraft.
Currently, Garuda Indonesia has one Boeing 737 MAX 8, but the aircraft, along with 11 airplanes owned by Lion Air, was prohibited from flying by the government following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Meanwhile, Sriwijaya Air, which is now under the operation of the Garuda Indonesia Group, also seeks to cancel a Boeing 737 MAX 8 order. “Yes, we will cancel the order. We are evaluating whether we will shift to Airbus or keep Boeing,” he added. (bbn)