(T&T NEWSDAY)– Caribbean Airlines Ltd CEO Garvin Medera said safety is the company’s priority in any decision to upgrade the airline’s fleet to the Boeing 737 Max 8.
“We will put safety first and base our decisions on that once we get the relevant reports and conclusions,” Medera told Newsday in a text message.
Asked specifically to clarify if the decision to upgrade the fleet was still on, Medera neither confirmed nor denied, instead saying, “We will be guided in our decision making by safety which remains our number one priority.”
The state air carrier announced in November that it would add 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to its fleet, starting in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Max 8, made by US aircraft manufacturing giant, Boeing, is the latest upgrade to the massively successful 737 model, the most popular commercial passenger aircraft ever.
This latest iteration has been plagued by safety concerns because of an alleged glitch in the navigation software.
Last October, a Lion Air 737 Max 8 departing Indonesia crashed just 12 minutes after take off, and last week, an Ethiopian Air plane also crashed just after take-off in strikingly similar circumstances. Both planes had been recently commissioned and flown by experienced pilots. All passengers and crew in each case died.
Since the Ethiopia Airlines crash operators in China and the Cayman Islands have grounded their Max 8 flights due to safety concerns.