Samoa Airways will cancel the delivery of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, following the recent issues with this particular plane. While some airlines are putting their MAXs into storage, one other airline has, so far, publicly cancel its order.
The world’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is currently grounded, following two recent fatal accidents. While the exact cause is still to be determined, it is thought that the aircraft’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is behind the accidents. This system is designed to trim the nose down if a stall is detected by software onboard the airplane.
Who is Samoa Airways?
Samoa Airways is the flag carrier of Samoa. The airline operates a small network of domestic and international flights based out of Faleolo International Airport in Apia. In total, the airline operates services to seven destinations from its hub. While it serves a relatively small network, this includes flights to Australia and New Zealand.
The airline currently has one Boeing 737-800 in its fleet along with three DHC-6-300 aircraft. Samoa Airlines is only due to receive one Boeing 737 MAX 9, set to be leased from Air Lease Corporation. As such, this individual decision to cancel the delivery will have relatively little effect on the industry as a whole.
The French Air-journal.com indicates that the decision was made by the Prime Minister of Samoa. The government reportedly cannot wait until the air crash report for the downed Ethiopian Boeing 737 MAX. As such, they are looking to renegotiate the contract of their 737-800 which was due to leave at the end of the year. Should this not be possible, the government is expected to look into other aircraft which could act as a replacement.
What’s next for the 737 MAX?
The future looks slightly uncertain for the Boeing 737 MAX at the moment. Just last week the Indonesian carrier Garuda Indonesia decided to cancel its order for 49 737 MAX aircraft. This brings the total number of orders now cancelled in the wake of Ethiopian flight 302 to 50. As of the end of February, a total of 5,012 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft had been ordered. As such, around 1% of orders have now been cancelled.
Other carriers are starting to consider what to do with their fleet of 737 MAX. Southwest has begun to ferry their fleet to Victorville in the Californian Desert. This site is known as an aircraft graveyard, where planes go to be retired.
The move will mean that the aircraft are being stored in an environment where damage is less likely to occur. Additionally, it will cost the airline much less to store the aircraft in the desert than at an airport. Finally, by parking all of their aircraft in a central location, it will be easier for Southwest to roll out any required changes.
What do you think of Samoa Airways’ decision not to accept the 737 MAX? Let us know in the comments down below!