KQ considers shelving plans to buy Boeing 737 jets

A KQ plane

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) is contemplating on whether or not to completely abandon its 2018 expansion plans of buying Boeing 737 Max jets following the gruesome crash of a similar model in Ethiopian airspace that claimed 157 lives on Sunday including 32 Kenyans.

The crash in Ethiopia was the second time in five months that a Boeing 737 Max jet went down under unclear circumstances; with the first incident happening over Indonesian airspace in October 2018 and this has raised questions on the efficiency of the Boeing 737 jet model.

According to a news report by Bloomberg, KQ’s top brass is deliberating on whether to buy Boeing’s larger 787 Dreamliner or acquire different planes all together from Boeing’s rival Airbus as it seeks to enact its expansion plans.

“The number of aircraft we need in this range is not yet determined. As no decision has been taken yet, we will carefully follow the developments around the 737 Max. Studies may also show that we could enlarge our 737-800 fleet and of course as a responsible buyer, we also look at the Airbus options,” KQ’s CEO Michael Joseph is quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg similarly reports that a switch to Airbus by KQ could mirror a move made by Indonesia’s Lion Air, which plans to drop a $22 billion order for 737 Max jets in favor of planes made by Boeing’s arch rival.

Following the Boeing 737 plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday, a host of countries have suspended the plane model from operating flights as investigations into the matter are conducted.

Boeing’s shares have been affected as a result, with the aero plane manufacturer recording a noteworthy drop in stocks traded by end of day Tuesday.

Kenya Airways currently has 39 aircraft including eight 787 Dreamliners and eight 787-800s, according to information on its website.


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