Garuda Indonesia and LCC Lion Air are reconsidering Boeing 737 MAX orders following the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 crash March 10 that killed 157 people soon after takeoff from Addis Ababa, and the worldwide grounding of the type.

The Indonesia transport safety committee (KNKT) will also hasten the release the accident report for Lion Air flight JT610, a Boeing 737 MAX that crashed into the Java Sea Oct. 29, 2018.

Garuda president director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra told Indonesian reporters the “airline lost confidence in the model (737 MAX) following two crashes and is in talks with Boeing for the potential cancellation of the remaining 49 737 MAX 8s on order.

Garuda’s first and only 737 MAX 8 has been grounded since March 11 under orders by the Indonesian Transport Ministry. Garuda was to take delivery of the remaining 49 aircraft through 2030, part of a 50-aircraft deal signed in 2014.

According to a Bloomberg report, LCC Lion Air also mooted the idea of canceling its order of more than 180 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, in favor for the Airbus A320.

The airline is still studying the legality of the matter, although airline director Daniel Putut said Lion Air has suspended the delivery of four 737 MAX deliveries scheduled for this year.

Lion Air had made similar threats in December 2018, following the October JT610 crash and there have been disagreements between Boeing and the airline over responsibility.

The group has both the MAX 8 and MAX 9 in service, flown under the Malindo and Thai Lion Air subsidiary in Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively.

Meanwhile, KNKT head Soerjanto told Reuters the agency will release the JT610 accident report by at least a month earlier than the expected August-September timeframe. KNKT also offered assistance to relevant Ethiopian authorities for the ET302 crash investigation.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines called on FAA and Boeing for clarity, as well as a timely MAX resolution, so as to provide airlines and authorities the necessary information to access risks and make judgments to lift suspensions.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com