Plans by Rwanda to acquire Boeing 737-MAX8 (B737-MAX8) planes, the world’s best selling aircraft, are up the air following the deadly Sunday crash in Ethiopia.
Government ministers announced Tuesday that the plans to lease two Boeing 737-MAX 8 planes will be scaled back for now.
“We will be waiting the information from the investigation which is being carried out on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines. We will then decide whether to get the Boeing 737-MAX 8 or not,” said Olivier Nduhungirehe, Minister of State for east African Affairs.
The brand new Ethiopian Airlines plane from Addis Ababa, on its way to Nairobi fell from the sky killing all 157 people on board. Indonesian Lion Air had a similar aircraft a that also went down bout 5 months ago killing 189 people.
Already, UK, China, Singapore, Australia and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing Max 8 planes, and those which were due to land in those countries have been turned away.
Several international carriers that own or had ordered for the Maxi 8 have grounded their fleet and are considering cancelling the orders from Boeing.
Rwanda had already set in motion the lease program. The exact timelines had yet to be made public by national carrier RwandAir.
So what is wrong with this Boeing 737-MAX8 (B737-MAX8) aircraft?
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a redesigned version of the Boeing 737. Over 10,000 Boeing 737 aircraft, according to industry data.
The new aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX, entered service in 2017. At the moment 350 of these aircraft are in service, with over 5,000 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order.
Indonesian and American investigators determined that the Lion Air plane’s abrupt nose dive might have been caused by updated Boeing software that was meant to prevent a stall but that can send the plane into a fatal descent if the altitude and angle information being fed into the computer system is incorrect, according to The New York Times.
The change in the flight control system, which can override manual motions in the Max model, was not explained to pilots, according to some pilots’ unions.
Here is RwandAir current fleet composed 12 aircraft:
RwandAir was to lease 4 more aircraft including 2 Boeing 737 MAX 8