March 29, 2019 / 7:40 AM / 21 days ago

Sriwijaya Air cancels plan to lease two Boeing 737 MAX jets

The angle of attack sensor, at bottom center, is seen on a 737 Max aircraft at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s Sriwijaya Air, which is operated by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, has cancelled plan to lease two Boeing Co 737 MAX jets, a spokesman said on Friday.

“Due to the Ethiopian crash, the company felt it had to cancel the plan,” Sriwijaya Air spokesman Adi Willi Hanhari Haloho told Reuters, referring to the Ethiopian Airlines’ crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 that killed 157 people earlier this month.

That accident came five months after a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crashed off Indonesia, killing 189.

Haloho declined to name who the lessor for the Boeing jets was.

Garuda Indonesia, which took over operational control of Sriwijaya in November, was the first airline to publicly confirm plans to scrap a 737 MAX order after the Ethiopian crash, in its case for 49 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 jets.

Garuda cited a loss of passenger trust following the two crashes, although it had been reconsidering the order before the latest disaster in Ethiopia.

The company had met with Boeing on Thursday to discuss the scrapped order and its safety concerns over the Max 8 series, it said in a statement.

Garuda will meet again with Boeing at the end of April to find “a win-win solution for both parties,” the statement staid.

The airline’s chief financial officer, Fuad Rizal, told Reuters last week that Garuda could switch its order, valued at $6 billion at list prices, to other Boeing models.

Reporting by Cindy Silviana; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Rashmi Aich

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