Contracts for the purchase of troubled Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have been suspended indefinitely by a number of Russian airlines, according to Vladimir Afonsky, a member of the Russia’s State Duma (Parliament) Committee on Transport and Construction.
He told TASS, with a reference to Deputy Transport Minister Aleksandr Yurchik, that these were contracts for the supply of several dozen aircraft to UTair, Ural Airlines, Pobeda Airlines and S7.
The indefinite suspension will last “until the circumstances of this situation [the two recent crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX planes] were ascertained,” Afonsky said.
Ural Airlines had ordered 14 MAX aircraft from Boeing, with the first jet expected to arrive in October. Pobeda Airlines (part of the Aeroflot Group) was planning to buy 30 planes. It has not sealed a firm contract yet but had already made an advance payment for the aircraft.
Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savelyev said earlier that the company could refuse operating twenty MAX planes ordered for Pobeda.
Earlier this month, Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide after two similar crashes just months apart. Last October, a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. On March 10, another crash killed 157 people in Ethiopia.