An official of the national transport safety panel has said the plane had technical problems on its previous flight on Sunday, from the city of Denpasar on the resort island of Bali, including an issue over “unreliable airspeed”.
The accident is the first to be reported involving the widely sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer’s single-aisle jet.
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Privately owned Lion Air, founded in 1999, said the aircraft, had been in operation since August and was airworthy, with its pilot and co-pilot having 11,000 hours of flying time between them.
The airline is to meet a team from Boeing on Wednesday to discuss the fate of its 737 MAX 8 plane.
“We have many questions for them,” Lion Air Director Daniel Putut told reporters on Tuesday.
“This was a new plane.”