​Garuda considers cancelling 737 Max 8 orders

Aviation

Garuda Indonesia hopes to cancel its orders for 49 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, and potentially convert them to another aircraft type.

Media reports quoting company officials indicate that a letter has been sent to Boeing requesting the cancellation of the type. Apparently, the company hopes to change it to another member of the Boeing family.

According to an AFP report, a company spokesman had this to say about the cancellation request: “We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled. The reason is that Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence [in the aircraft].”

Garuda confirmed to FlightGlobal that it is considering a cancellation. Boeing said it does not comment on customer discussions.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the carrier has a single 737 Max 8 in storage – owing to the global ground affecting the type – and 49 additional examples on order. As part of the cancellation, Garuda hopes that the first aircraft can be returned as well.

Boeing officials will meet Garuda on 28 March to discuss the matter.

The first crash involving the 737 Max 8 involved Garuda competitor Lion Air. Lion Air flight JT610 crashed on 29 October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed on 10 March. The twin crashes claimed 346 lives.

Garuda’s 49 on order Max 8s represent just over 1% of the global orderbook for the 737 Max family.

Fleets Analyzer suggests that the airline would take about ten jets annually between 2020 and 2024.

Updated to reflect Garuda’s confirmation of the cancellation reports.