KQ to buy 10 planes of the Boeing model rejected by over 50 countries

Model has been banned in most countries after Ethiopian plane killed 157 people

Traditional dancers entertain travellers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport upon arrival aboard a Kenya Airways aircraft from New York in 2018.

Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) will go head with a plan to purchase ten Boeing 737 Max jets, even as over fifty countries have grounded the plane model over security concerns. 

KQ had made plans to buy the extra jets in 2018 at a cost of Sh20 billion. 

The Boeing 737 Max 8 model has, however, faced safety concerns after two controversial fatal crashes of the aircraft model in October 2018 and March 2019. 

The latest crash, involving a plane belonging to Ethiopian Airlines, happened six minutes after the plane took off from Addis Ababa for Nairobi. 

The Ethiopian accident claimed 157 lives with Kenya taking the greatest hit with 32 citizen fatalities. 

The world reacted by grounding the Boeing 737, with some countries going as far as banning the aircraft from their airspace. 

KQ Chairman Michael Joseph

KQ Chairman Michael Joseph initially told Bloomberg that it would review the deal to purchase the model. 

However, on Monday, the Business Daily quoted Joseph saying the deal would go through with the hope Boeing will have sorted the "current problem" by the end KQ purchases the planes. 

"We hope that between now and the time when we are ready to acquire the new fleet, Boeing will have solved the current problem," Joseph said. 

While no definitive cause for the Max 8 accidents has been found, experts suspect that a safety software feature, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), sent both planes into their fatal dives as pilots struggled to keep aloft.

On Friday last week, Indonesia's Lion Air cancelled a Sh2.2 billion order for the 737 and opted to have the Airbus instead. 

Currently, Kenya Airways does not have a Max 8 jet in its fleet of 40 planes.

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