FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX takes off during a flight test in Renton, Washington January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File photo
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Lion Air is considering cancelling orders for Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX jets following a crash that killed 189 people in October but has not yet made a decision, the airline’s CEO Edward Sirait said on Thursday.
Sirait told a briefing that Lion Air was examining the legality of cancelling orders but had not yet communicated with the manufacturer about the prospect.
Lion Air has 190 Boeing jets worth $22 billion at list prices waiting to be delivered, on top of 197 already taken, making it one of the largest U.S. export customers.
Reuters on Tuesday reported Lion Air was reviewing Boeing airplane purchases and had not ruled out cancelling orders as relations worsen in a spat over responsibility for the crash, according to sources.
Any cancellation of orders would need to be approved by the airline’s co-founders and co-owners, Rusdi Kirana and his brother Kusnan Kirana.
Boeing declined to comment on contractual matters but industry sources say aerospace companies rarely leave room for unilateral cancellations except in exceptional circumstances.
Reporting by Cindy Silviana, writing by Ed Davies and Jamie Freed; editing by Jason Neely