WestJet will stick with Boeing 737 MAX 8 as first airline looks to cancel order
WestJet Airlines plans to stick with deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft once regulators approve the plane for re-entry into service.
The Calgary-based airline says it won’t follow the lead of Indonesia’s flag carrier, which cancelled its multibillion-dollar order for 49 Max 8 jets, citing a loss of confidence after two deadly crashes in the past six months.
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WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13, but Boeing has suspended all future deliveries.
Spokeswoman Lauren Stewart says the 37 remaining deliveries in its order won’t take place until the grounding is lifted and it thoroughly evaluates any upgrades.
She says the narrow-body planes remain “a vital part of the fleet,” having performed “safely, reliably and efficiently” since 2017.
Air Canada and Sunwing didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a blow for, Indonesia’s flag carrier is seeking the cancellation of a multibillion dollar order for 49 of the manufacturer’s jets, citing a loss of confidence after two crashes in the past six months.
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It is the first announcement of a cancellation since Boeing’s new model aircraft were grounded following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
PT Garuda Indonesia, which had ordered 50 MAX 8 jets in 2014 and had received just one plane last year, has sent a letter to Boeing last week requesting to cancel the order worth $4.9 billion, the company’s spokesman Ikhsan Rosan said Friday. The carrier has so far paid Boeing about $26 million for the order.
Garuda joined other airlines worldwide in grounding its one MAX 8 jet after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight this month which killed all 157 people aboard. It came less than five months after 189 people died in the Oct. 29 crash of another MAX 8, operated by Indonesian private carrier Lion Air.
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