U.S. Finally Grounds All Boeing 737 Max 8s and 9s

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8
Photo by AP Photo/David Koenig via Newscred

President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. would issue an "emergency order to ground all 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9, and planes associated with that line," according to CNN. He added that both the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing were "in agreement with the action." Planes currently in the air will continue to their destination where they will be grounded.

This comes after earlier reports from U.S. pilots, including those from American Airlines and Southwest, saying they have experienced "a brief nose-dive situation," which closely resembles the issues that the pilots from Indonesia's Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines endured before fatally crashing. 

"Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max. However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined—out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety—to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 Max aircraft," the company said in a statement. 

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Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO and chairman of The Boeing Company, adds, “On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

The U.S. becomes one of the last countries to ground the aircraft, after China, India, Indonesia, the European Union and Canada all grounded the planes. Previously, American Airlines and Southwest said they remained confident in the aircraft and their crews. While it doesn't fly the Max 8, United Airlines does operate the Max 9; other North American airlines that have 737 Max models in their fleets include Air Canada, Canadian carrier WestJet, Panama's Copa, Aeromexico and Caribbean airline Cayman Airways. 

As reported by our sister publication, Travel Agent, Norwegian, which had 18 Max 8s in its fleet, will temporarily operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from New York Stewart International Airport to Dublin Airport, which will allow it to provide service to affected customers scheduled to fly from either Providence’s T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island or Stewart to Dublin.

Other airlines, such as Air Canada, is warning passengers of delays as they scramble to replace the aircraft or rebook the passengers on other flights. 

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