Lion Air to cancel Boeing 737 MAX orders after betrayal

Indonesian PT Lion Mentari Airlines is threatening to cancel its aircraft orders from Boeing after a statement from the plane maker suggested that the carrier was to blame for the recent crash that killed 189 people.”I feel betrayed,” Lion founder, Rusdi Kirana, said by telephone on Wednesday. “I am preparing documents to propose cancellations. Everything is still under consideration now.”
A preliminary report last month from Indonesian transportation safety commission did not specify the cause of the accident but said Lion Air needed to improve its safety culture. Boeing issued a lengthy statement that included an account of the airlines maintenance of the doomed plane.
Boeing has faced criticism from Lion Air and US pilot unions that it should have done more to alert its customers to a new anti-stall feature on the 737 Max, which has also been a focus of the probe.
“This is something to watch,” JPMorgan Chase analyst Seth Seifman said in a note to clients Wednesday about Lions threats. “But it is far from clear Lion will follow through, and its growth plans had always looked ambitious. More important to us is that global airlines continue taking delivery” of Max planes and flying passengers on the jets.
The new Boeing 737 Max 8 nosedived into the Java Sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta on October 29.
Lion Air has 188 pending orders for the 737 Max, making it one of the biggest buyers of the plane. The Max 8 has a list price of US$117.1 million before discounts that are customary for aircraft purchases.
“We will deal with the consequences later, whatever they are,” Kirana, who is now Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia, said.
The airlines potential cancellation of Boeing orders was reported earlier by Reuters. News Source Stuff.co.nz .

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