Garuda Indonesia has cancelled an order for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 following two fatal crashes that has seen the aircraft grounded.
Garuda says passengers in Indonesia have “lost trust and no longer have confidence” in the type after the recent loss of the Ethiopian Airlines flight and that of Indonesia’s Lion Air last year.
Garuda had 49 due for delivery and already operates one MAX 8, which news agency AFP says is the subject of talks with Boeing as to whether it can be returned. The airline has told Indonesian media that it may replace the MAX jets with another Boeing model.
It has emerged that neither aircraft involved in the accidents had two optional safety sensors fitted at extra cost. Associated Press reports that one of the safety features – a warning light indicating that systems do not agree – will become a standard feature along with new software.
Both crashes are thought to have occurred when pilots battled to correct a software error that indicated the aircraft was stalling, leading its systems to repeatedly push the aircraft nose down.
All 189 on the Lion Air aircraft died when it crashed in October. The Ethiopian Airlines crash killed 157 on March 10, leading to the MAX being banned from UK airspace.
The FBI is now investigating how the certification of the aircraft and its safety standards was approved.
Pilots in the US have told media that they were given a self-taught course lasting less than three hours detailing how to transition from older 737 types to the new version and which did not explain the new stall avoidance software.