“Our passengers have lost confidence to fly with the Max 8,” Garuda spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan told CNN.
It’s the latest blow to Boeing over the 737 Max, its bestselling passenger jet. The planes have been grounded worldwide over safety concerns following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight earlier this month.
Boeing representatives are planning to visit Jakarta on March 28 to discuss the cancellation request with the airline, Ikhsan said.
A Boeing spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on “customer discussions.”
“We are, as all stakeholders, awaiting the results of the [crash] investigations. Airplane orders are part of a long-term fleet strategy,” said European carrier TUI Airlines, which has 14 of the jets and orders for 58 more.
The major airlines, especially those in North America, probably will not drop any of their orders for 737 Max jets said Jim Corridore, director of industrial equity research for CFRA Research. Rival Airbus has an even longer waiting list for planes and shifting from Boeing to Airbus would put an airline at the back of the line to have its order filled.
“Once they’re able to get the fix in place, I think that will go a long way to canceling any concerns about the plane,” he said.
The criminal investigation, which is in its early stages, began after a 737 Max aircraft operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed in October, killing all 189 people aboard.
The 737 Max jets are by far the most important product for the company. It has orders for nearly 5,000 of the aircraft, enough to keep production lines operating for years to come.
Jethro Mullen and Sandi Sidhu contributed to this report.