Kenya Airways (KQ) will not cancel its plan to purchase 10 Boeing 737-800 Max planes despite the model being grounded globally following two fatal crashes in the last five months.
The national carrier confirmed that it will not cancel the order of planes which are worth Ksh. 120 billion.
In an interview with The Nation, KQ Chairman, Michael Joseph, said that the only option that they have planned for the Boeing 7373-800 Max is to make it easier for the airline to conduct training and maintenance of the aircraft.
“We hope that between now and the time when we are ready to acquire the new fleet, Boeing will have solved the current problem,’’ said Michael.
Kenya Airways, which is the third largest African Sub-Sahara airline, has opted to buying the older Boeing 737-800 version because they do not feature the suspected software and maintaining the same fleet of Boeing jet is cost-efficient .
It is believed that the fatal Boeing 737-800 Max crashes that killed 157 passengers onboard the Ethiopian Airlines (March 2019) and 189 onboard Indonesia’s Lions Air flight (October 2018) were attributed to software issues.
On Tuesday 26 March, a Boeing 737 Max 8, Southwest Airlines aircraft made an emergency landing at Orlando International Airport minutes after take off. The plane was being ferried to Victorville in California for short term storage but luckily no passengers were on board.
KQ currently has a fleet of 40 planes, being a mixture of Boeing jets and the Brazilian-made Embraer 190.