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Kenya Airways reviewing plans to buy Boeing 737 Max jets

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Kenya Airways says it will is reviewing plans to buy a Boeing 737 Max jets following last Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, among them 32 Kenyans.

The company revived plans to expand its network last year with a proposal to buy as many as 10 of the planes worth about Ksh 12 billion ($1.2 billion).

But Kenya Airways Chairman Michael Joseph told Bloomberg in an email the airline may consider switching to Airbus or could opt to take the older version of the 737 Boeing jet, which doesn’t feature the suspect sensor system without ruling out sticking with the Max. The Ethiopian Airlines ET320 accident involved a Boeing 737 Max 8.

Other airlines are also reviewing their orders, which could see Boeing lose deals worth over Ksh 60 trillion ($600 billion).

The moves come as several countries continue to ground the Max, including the United States. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday afternoon he would immediately ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft, amid concerns over their involvement in two major plane crashes less than six months apart.

The US plane manufacturer, in a statement, said they would recommend the temporary global suspension of the entire 737 Max fleet “out of an abundance of caution.” Fifty countries have now grounded or banned the planes inside their airspace.

“Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety —  to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 Max aircraft,” said the statement.

On Wednesday, MPs called on the government to also ban the planes from using Kenyan airspace.

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security, in a memorandum, also suspended the use of the Max by UN staff until the cause of the Ethiopian crash is established. Twenty one UN staff members were killed in the crash.

“UNDSS recommends that official UN staff travel not be conducted using Boeing 737 MAX-series aircraft (Max 7, Max 8 and Max 9). Until such a time that the cause of the aircrash/s is established, UN travel units should be advised that UN staff should not be booked or ticketed using the Boeing 737 MAX-series aircraft, until further notice,” the interoffice memo said in part.

Read: Kenya’s richest churches mint billions from worshipers

On 29 October 2018, the Boeing 737 Max 8 fight 610 operating a domestic route crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew.



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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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