12 March 2019

Nigeria's Airline to Keep Boeing 737 Deal

Photo: DosenPhoto/Flickr
(file photo).

Nigeria's leading carrier Air Peace insists it has no plan to cancel its order for 10 737-MAX 800 planes in spite of the uproar against the brand over recent crashes.

The airline Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah, said any decision about cancelling the order would be premature.

Mr Iwarah, however, said on Tuesday in Lagos that Air Peace would continue to act in the interest of the safety of the flying public.

He said the multi-million dollar deal signed between Air Peace and the American aircraft manufacturer, The Boeing Company, on September 13, 2018 for the delivery of 10 brand new B737 MAX 800 aircraft, was still on.

"At this moment, it is premature to begin to talk about things and conclusions that have not been put in the public domain.

"Investigations into the crashes involving B737Max 800 are ongoing so it will not be fair at this time to begin to make definite comments on those issues," he said.

The Air Peace spokesperson said the airline had not yet taken delivery of the ordered aircraft, adding that before that time, issues surrounding its safety must have been identified by global aviation experts.

"We also trust that Boeing is capable of responding to the issues technically. They have the capacity to respond to that," Mr Iwarah said.

"I want to say clearly that we will not engage in anything that will jeopardise the lives and safety of our passengers. There is no basis for talking about cancelling the order."

Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all B-737-800MAX aircraft in its fleet following Sunday's crash of its Flight ET302, which killed all 157 persons on board.

The aircraft en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed six minutes after take-off around Bishoftu, 60km south-east of the Ethiopian capital.

The crash was the second involving the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in the past four months following October 2018 one involving a Lion Air plane, which plunged into the sea off Jakarta, in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

Other carriers, including China have grounded the B737 MAX 800 aircraft in their fleets due to safety concerns.

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