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RwandAir halts plans to purchase new aircrafts until further notice

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Plans by Rwanda flag carrier, RwandAir, to acquire Boeing 737-MAX8 (B737-MAX8) planes have been suspended until further notice, according to a statement on Thursday, 10 September 2020.

The brand new Ethiopian Airlines plane from Addis Ababa, on its way to Nairobi, fell from the sky, killing all 157 people who were on board. Indonesia’s Lion Air had a similar aircraft that also went down in October 2018, claiming 189 lives in the process.

Many countries across the globe, including USA, UK, China, Singapore, Australia and Indonesia, have grounded all Boeing MAX8 planes, and those which were due to land in those countries have been turned away. In addition, several international carriers that own or had ordered the MAX8 planes grounded their fleet and are considering cancelling the orders from Boeing.

Before the new decision was announced on Thursday, 10 September 2020, Rwanda set in motion the lease program in 2019. The Boeing 737-MAX8 is a redesigned version of the Boeing 737.

The new aircraft, the Boeing 737-MAX, entered service in 2017. At the moment, 350 of these aircrafts are in service, with over 5 000 Boeing 737-MAX aircrafts on order. 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.

RwandAir’s current fleet comprises 12 aircrafts.



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