Wednesday 14 August 2019 5:54 pm

Lion Air 'urgently' needs more Boeing 737 Max jets to support growth

Indonesian airline Lion Air “urgently requires” more Boeing 737 Max jets, after two crashes involving the model - one of which was a Lion Air jet - left the entire global fleet grounded in March.

The airline’s co-founder, Rusdi Kirana, told Reuters that once regulators allowed the plane back in the skies, it needed more aircraft to support its plans for growth.

He said the low-cost carrier would need to be satisfied with negotiations with Boeing on an order it has for 187 of the jets before taking them.

“If they don’t satisfy us, we will cancel the contract,” Kirana said.

All 189 passengers and crew on board one of Lion Air’s new 737 MAX jets died when the plane crashed into the Java Sea last October, the first of two deadly crashes which killed 346 people in total.

In April, Kirana lashed out over Boeing’s handling of the accidents and accused the U.S. manufacturer of looking down on the airline as one from the “third world”, even though it is one of the plane maker’s largest customers globally.

A final report on the Lion Air crash is expected to be released at the end of September, Indonesia’s civil aviation authority said last week.

Main image: Getty