Malaysia Airlines reviews RM11.5 bil Boeing Max order amid safety concerns

In 2016, Malaysia Airlines agreed to buy 25 737 Max 8 jets from Boeing. None has been delivered.

LONDON: Malaysia Airlines Bhd is reviewing whether to go ahead with a US$2.75 billion (RM11.5 billion) order to buy 25 of Boeing Co’s 737 Max jets in the wake of two fatal crashes that has led to the global grounding of the plane, a person familiar with the matter said.

Though the state-run airline hasn’t made any decision, it wants Boeing’s reassurances about the plane’s safety before proceeding further, said the person, who asked not to be identified.

The carrier’s situation adds to the growing number of airlines wavering on Boeing’s fastest-selling jet.

Garuda Indonesia has said it no longer wants to buy the 737 Max planes it ordered, while Lion Air is said to be seeking to drop its order.

In 2016, Malaysia Airlines agreed to buy 25 737 Max 8 jets from Boeing, with an option to double the order, which would bring the total value of the deal to US$5.5 billion.

None of the planes has been delivered yet.

Boeing has begun mapping out steps to ease its 737 Max back into commercial service once regulators lift the grounding, but there’s no clear timeline on when that may happen.

The International Air Transport Association, the biggest association of airlines, has forecast it doesn’t expect a decision for as long as 12 weeks.

Boeing and Malaysia Airlines representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.