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Garuda Airlines cancels order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes

By Darryl Coote
Indonesia's Garuda Airlines has received only one of the 50 373 Max 8 jets it order from Boeing. It has since grounded that plane and canceled its order for the remaining 49. Photo courtesy Boeing
Indonesia's Garuda Airlines has received only one of the 50 373 Max 8 jets it order from Boeing. It has since grounded that plane and canceled its order for the remaining 49. Photo courtesy Boeing

March 22 (UPI) -- Indonesia's national airline Garuda said Friday that it is canceling an order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after the plane was involved in two crashes in under six months.

The $4.9-billion deal was closed in 2014 for 50 passenger jets. The company had received one plane but notified the American aircraft manufacturer Friday that it was nullifying its order, Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan told CNN.

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"Our passengers have lost confidence to fly with the Max 8," Rosan said.

The move comes two weeks after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 aboard. It was the second such crash involving a 737 Max 8 jet in six months.

RELATED Boeing to update software, training on 737 Max 8 as FBI joins probe


In October, an Indonesia's Lion Air flight crashed also shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.

Rosan said it notified Boeing of the order cancelation by letter and are scheduled to meet with the manufacturer to discuss the issue March 28, the Washington Post reported.

Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said Sunday that there are similarities between the two crashes.

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Investigators found similarities between the two crashes concerning the 737 Max 8's stall-prevention system, which experts say bad sensor data forced the plane into a dive.

Ethiopian Airlines crash March 10 caused dozens of countries and airlines to ground their 737 Max fleets. Many have said they won't fly them until they have assurances.

The FBI, the U.S. Department of Transport and the Department of Justice are investing the Boeing 737.

This situation could cost Boeing between $1 billion and $5 billion, CNN reported.

The 737 Max is Boeing's best selling plane with over 5,000 orders worldwide.

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