The United States will no longer fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed Sunday shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.
President Trump said he was grounding all flights using both models – ‘effective immediately’ – in an emergency order of prohibition on Wednesday afternoon.
Any plane that is currently in the air will be allowed to land, and then the planes will be grounded until further notice, he said.
Trump made the decision following conversations with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and the Federal Aviation Administration he said, after ‘new information’ and ‘physical evidence’ emerged on tragic incidents involving the planes.
‘They are all in agreement with the action,’ Trump announced. ‘Planes that are in the air will be grounded, if they’re the 737 Max, will be grounded upon landing at the destination.’
Airlines have been notified, and they are in agreement with the decision, he claimed.
‘Our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones, to their friends to their families in both the Ethiopian and Lion airlines crashes that involved the 737 Max aircraft,’ the president said. ‘It’s a terrible terrible thing. Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now.’
Boeing will hopefully come up with an answer swiftly, he said. ‘But until they do, the planes are grounded.
Trump said the FAA would be releasing additional information shortly.
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The United States was the only nation still flying the Boeing 737 Max Wednesday
American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines hadn’t grounded planes, despite 40 countries opting not the fly the aircraft pending an investigation.
On Wednesday morning, 33 of the model were spotted on Flightradar24, most over the US.
Meanwhile Canada’s transport minister, Marc Garneau, said the country is closing air space to the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet Wednesday morning due to information they’d received in the form of satellite data, showing a possible but unproven similarity to a previous Max 8 crash.
Southwest Airlines hasn’t grounded planes despite 40 countries opting not the fly the aircraft pending an investigation
American Airlines has 24 Max 8s and said in a statement they will keep taking passengers on the planes until there’s solid proof there’s a problem.
A statement from the airline read: ‘At this time there are no facts on the cause of the accident other than news reports. We have full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members, who are the best and most experienced in the industry.’
Southwest Airlines continues the fly the aircraft too.
The Texas-based operator believes the aircraft is perfectly fine.
‘We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft,’ the low-cost carrier said.
United Airlines was still flying Max 9s, which were not involved in the Ethiopian Airlines or Lion Air crashes that took place within five months of each other, but were part of the FAA’s emergency airworthiness directive after October’s crash
Canada’s WestJet – which has 121 Boeing 737s – kept them in the air until the country banned the Boeing Max from Canadian airspace Wednesday
United Airlines was still flying Max 9s, which were not involved in the Ethiopian Airlines or Lion Air crashes that took place within five months of each other, but were part of the FAA’s emergency airworthiness directive after October’s crash.
Canada’s WestJet – which has 121 Boeing 737s – kept them in the air until the country banned the Boeing Max from Canadian airspace Wednesday.
The transport minister said it was a precautionary measure based on new information received this morning.
The fleet includes 13 Max 8 aircraft, the same kind involved in Sunday’s crash six minutes after take-off, and the October 2018 Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 passengers over then Java Sea.
Up until Tuesday UAE-based low cost carrier flydubai was the only airline outside of North America that remained ‘confident in the airworthiness of our fleet’ for the Max 8s, of which they flew 11.
But their Max 8 and Max 9 planes were grounded at the order of the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority which banned them from air space in the United Arab Emirates from Wednesday.
The US has so far refused to take similar action against the American aerospace giant’s best-selling workhorse aircraft, despite the two recent crashes as well as a history of pilot complaints in recent months.
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom have grounded the Max 8
Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, France, Ireland, India, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, did so too. Turkish Airlines and Norwegian Airlines (pictured) have ditched the planes
Pilots said in prior reports that soon after engaging the autopilot on Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, the nose tilted down sharply
‘Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,’ FAA chief Daniel Elwell said in a statement on Tuesday.
Airline pilots on at least two US flights have reported that an automated system seemed to cause their Boeing 737 Max planes to tilt down suddenly.
The pilots said that soon after engaging the autopilot on Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, the nose tilted down sharply. In both cases, they recovered quickly after disconnecting the autopilot.
The pilot reports were filed last year in a data base compiled by NASA. They are voluntary safety reports and do not publicly reveal the names of pilots, the airlines or the location of the incidents.
An Ethiopian pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster said the plane appeared to have ‘slid directly into the ground’.
American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said the airline has received no reports from pilots about problems with the anti-stall technology. Southwest has said the same thing.
An Ethiopian pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster on Sunday said the plane appeared to have ‘slid directly into the ground’
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg also spoke with US President Donald Trump and reiterated that the 737 Max 8 is safe, the company said.
Its technical team, meanwhile, joined American, Israeli, Kenyan and other aviation experts in the investigation led by Ethiopian authorities.
The specific Max 8 model has been grounded by India, the UAE, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iceland and Germany, and the airlines LOT Polish, TUI Airways, GOL Linhas Aereas, Aeromexico, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Cayman Airways, Comair Airways, Eastar Jet, Jet Airways, Mongolian Airlines, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lion Air, Silkair and Thai Lion.
The European Union and UK Civil Aviation Authority have banned the entire Boeing 737 Max fleet. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, France, Ireland, India, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, did so too. Turkish Airlines and Norwegian Airlines have ditched the planes for now.