TOKYO – Japanese airline All Nippon Airways said on Friday that it was closely following the crisis surrounding Boeing’s 737-Max aircrafts, but avoided discussing possible changes in its order of 30 airplanes of the same model, which the airline had announced in January.
The crash of a 737 Max aircraft registered in Indonesia in October and another similar crash on Sunday in Ethiopia has led to many countries, including Japan, banning the aircraft from flying in their airspace.
“ANA is monitoring the situation just as other carriers that are operating or have purchased the 737 MAX 8,” an ANA spokesperson told EFE.
ANA, the leading Japanese airline in terms of number of passengers, had on Jan. 29 announced plans to buy 30 units of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 18 Airbus A320neo aircrafts.
The spokesperson avoided discussing if the firm was reviewing the purchase and said that ANA was not scheduled to receive the aircraft until 2021.
If the order is confirmed and delivered, ANA would become the first Japanese airline to include Boeing 737 Max 8 units in its fleet.
The planes, with a total length of 39.5 meters (129.5 feet) and a wingspan of 35.9 meters, have a flight range of 6,570 kilometers (4082 miles).
ANA wants to incorporate the Boeing and Airbus narrow-body aircrafts to fulfill its needs in the Asian air routes.
Boeing had said on Thursday that it has suspended deliveries of its 737 MAX series following the grounding of the aircraft by aviation regulators around the world.
The world’s top plane maker in terms of deliveries said it will continue to build 737 MAX planes while assessing how capacity constraints could affect the company’s production system amid the world-wide restrictions.
Meanwhile, the black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 arrived in France early Thursday for analysis, a key step in a probe that could help determine how long the 737 MAX jet remains grounded around the world.
The new MAX model includes a stall-prevention system that has come under scrutiny since the Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
Authorities have said preliminary data in the probe of the Ethiopian Airlines crash suggested potential similarities between the two accidents.