Full article on forbes.com
Tajikistan’s Somon Air has dropped plans to lease a Boeing 737 MAX, blaming uncertainty about the timeline for its re-entry to service and shattered public confidence in the model.
“The MAX has been put on hold,” chief executive Thomas Hallam told me, referring to a contract for a single leased unit that Air Lease Corporation (ALC) had been due to place with Somon this year.
The unit in question was purchased by the lessor, so the lease cancelation will not affect Boeing's orderbook.
However, it illustrates waning confidence in the MAX following two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that claimed 346 lives and led to a worldwide grounding of the new aircraft type. Boeing is widely perceived to have bungled its response to the crisis by downplaying the severity of problems with its flight control systems and pressuring America’s aviation regulator to keep the model flying even after the second crash...