Industry AZAL cancels 737 MAX 8 order
Azerbaijan´s AZAL has reportedly informed Boeing that it intends to cancel its existing 737 MAX order.
After the crashes of 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia, AZAL has reportedly cancelled its 737 MAX order for 10 aircraft. The initial contract between Azerbaijan Airlines and Boeing was worth US$ 1 billion, according to current list prices.
AZAL Spokesperson Pasha Kesaminsy told news agency Reuters, that the main reason for AZAL cancelling the order were safety reasons. In addition, the damaged image of the MAX series could affect passengers negatively.
In March, shortly after the second crash, Azerbaijan Airlines president Jahangir Asgarov said: “We are working closely with American experts from Boeing on this issue. In case of detection of any defects in the software of the new aircraft, they will be completely eliminated before their delivery to our country. This issue will be under our constant control.”
Back then, the airline stated: “A total of 10 Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft will be delivered to Azerbaijan Airlines within three years starting from the end of this year in accordance with the signed agreement between AZAL and Boeing Corporation.”
Now, the airline has decided to cancel its order. A possible replacement could be the Airbus A320neo or A321neo. However, there is no evidence that Azerbaijan Airlines is in talks with Airbus.
Boeing´s 737 MAX aircraft have been rounded since the disaster in March. According to industry experts, this grounding could be valid until August this year. Many airlines are experiencing financial losses. Norwegian for example used their 737 MAX 8 aircraft to operate transatlantic flights.
Azerbaijan Airlines is the flag-carrier airline of Azerbaijan. The airline was founded in 1992 and operates from Heydar Aliyev International Airport. AZAL flies to 36 destinations and operates a subsidiary airline in Buta Airways. The carrier employs nearly 800 people and operates a fleet of 21 aircraft, including four Airbus A319s, 7 A320s, two A340s, two B757s, two B787s and two Embraer E190s.