Garuda Indonesia cancels Boeing 737 Max order

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Garuda Indonesia is set to become the first airline to officially cancel an order for the Boeing 737 Max 8 after two fatal crashes involving the aircraft that killed all on board.

The Indonesia operates one 737 Max 8 and has a further 49 on order with the US aircraft manufacturer, in a deal worth around US$5 billion.

The airline’s spokesman, Ikhsan Rosan said passengers had lost trust in the aircraft. “We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled,” he said.

“The reason is that Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence in the plane,” he added. Rosan said the carrier is waiting to hear from Boeing about the move.

The move follows similarities found in the crashed of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crash on 10 March that killed all 157 on board and the Lion Air crash on 29 October that killed 189 people.

More than 370 Max aircraft in operation were grounded this month after the Ethiopian crash after aviation authorities around the world ordered airlines to suspend use of Max aircraft.

There are a further 5,000 plus Max aircraft on order with Boeing from airlines such as Ryanair and other operators. Boeing is updating software which is says will alleviate any concerns.

Investigations into the crash continue but Max aircraft are set to remain grounded until the summer at the earliest.