United States to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8s and MAX 9s

TrumpU.S. President Donald Trump at a paast event. He says the United States is going to ground of all Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft after a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people. [Photo/Reuters]

U.S President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the United States was going to order the grounding of all Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft after a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

“We are going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Following the announcement, American Airlines Group Inc said its teams were working to rebook customers due to fly on Boeing Co’s 737 MAX as quickly as possible after the United States banned the aircraft, which has suffered two crashes in five months.

American, which has 24 737 MAX aircraft, was notified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of its decision to ground the jets earlier on Wednesday, it said in a statement.

Boeing shares also dropped after President Donald Trump said the United States was going to order the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX jets after a fatal crash in Ethiopia.

Despite the aviation giant’s assurances that the plane is safe and reliable, US, the European Union, Britain, and India joined China and other countries grounding the plane or banning it from their airspace as they await the results of the investigation into the crash.

A new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

That followed the October crash of a new Lion Air jet of the same model in Indonesia, which killed 189 people shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.

The widening actions against the aircraft puts pressure on Boeing — the world’s biggest plane manufacturer — to prove the MAX planes are safe, and the company has said it is rolling out flight software updates by April that could address issues with a faulty sensor.

The full extent of the impact of the aircraft bans on international travel routes was unclear. There are about 350 MAX 8 planes currently in service around the world.

Boeing has described the MAX series as its fastest-selling family of planes, with more than 5,000 orders placed to date from about 100 customers.

But not since the 1970s — when the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 suffered successive fatal incidents — has a new model been involved in two deadly accidents in such a short period.

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