JAKARTA, Indonesia (NBC) – In a blow for Boeing, Indonesia’s flag carrier is seeking the cancellation of a multibillion-dollar order of the manufacturer’s 737 Max 8 jets, citing a loss of confidence after two crashes in the past six months.
It’s the first announcement of a cancelation since Boeing’s new model aircraft were grounded following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Indonesia’s national airline Garuda is trying to cancel 49 Max 8 jets worth $5 billion to Boeing.
The airline said, “Our passengers have lost confidence after two fatal crashes in five months.”
It’s not clear if Boeing will let the airline out of their contract but for now, Max 8 flights are grounded around the world.
One big question Friday morning: could the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopia Air crashes have been avoided if the two airlines had paid for an extra safety feature? It would’ve increased the number of sensors to guard against a malfunction.
Boeing said those safety extras will now become standard and included in a software update.
Southwest Airlines, which has the most Max 8s of any US carrier, is still waiting on a pilot simulator. The pilot’s union said they want more training before flying the Max. Southwest’s CEO insisted it is always focused on safety first.