Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Saudi low-cost operator flyadeal has dropped an order of $5.9 billion for 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets and replace it with a new order for Airbus's A320neos.
flyadeal had signed an order commitment for 30 737 MAX jets last year in December. But due to the ongoing grounding of the 737 MAX jets and the uncertainty about the aircraft's future, Saudi airline operator decided not to finalize its commitment and opted for 30 Airbus A320neo.
Two 737 MAX jets involved in fatal crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 followed by another one in Ethiopia in March this year. 346 people were killed in these accidents.
Boeing is currently working on a software update to fix the aircraft's stall prevention system known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System).
The anti-stall system of the 737 MAX is believed to be the cause of both crashes.
State-owned Sauda subsidiary flyadeal justified its decision as "schedule requirements".
Although Boeing says that the 737 MAXs will return to the service by the end of this year, new problems emerging during the re-certification tests of the aircraft to make the manufacturer's prediction inconclusive.
Last month, during the Paris Air Show, Oman Air warned Boeing that it would start talks with Airbus if Boeing did not show up with an acceptable solution for the delayed 737 MAXs. Meanwhile, another Gulf carrier flydubai said in April that it would consider A320neos instead of previously ordered 236 737 MAX.