Lion Air is reviewing plane purchases from Boeing and has not ruled out cancelling orders as relations worsen in a spat over responsibility for a 737 jetliner crash that killed 189 people in late October, sources told Reuters.
Group co-founder Rusdi Kirana is furious over what he sees as attempts by Boeing to deflect attention from recent design changes and to blame Lion Air for the crash, while the airline faces scrutiny over its maintenance record and pilots’ actions, said the people, who have knowledge of the matter.
Mr Rusdi is examining the possibility of cancelling the remaining orders of Boeing jets “from the next delivery”, said one of the sources.
Another source said the airline was looking at cancelling orders.
No final decision has been made by Lion Air, but discussions over the fate of the remaining orders highlight the stakes surrounding a probe involving Boeing’s fastest-ever selling jet, the 737 MAX, which entered service last year.
Mr Rusdi, who co-founded the airline with his brother in 2000, ordered the review of airline purchases in response to Boeing’s statement last week focusing attention on piloting and maintenance topics, one of the sources said. Boeing released the statement focusing on maintenance actions spread over four flights in the run-up to the fatal flight on Oct 29 after investigators issued an interim report that did not give a cause for the crash.
Boeing is also examining software changes in the wake of the crash, while insisting longstanding procedures exist for pilots to cancel automated nose-down movements experienced by the 737 MAX in response to erroneous sensor readings.
Source: Straits Times