Boeing grounds 737 Max fleet following new evidence in Ethiopia crash

A Boeing 737 MAX plane. (Getty Images)

American aircraft manufacturer Boeing has temporarily suspended operations of the Boeing 737 Max globally after the US Federal Aviation Administration said it found new evidence linking the fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

“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.” the manufacturer said in a statement.

The announcement followed the FAA’s statement. However, the acting administrator of the FAA Daniel Elwell did not elaborate on how long the aircraft would be grounded.

US President Donald Trump had also said that the planes would be grounded noting that any plane that was currently in the air would go to its destination and be grounded thereafter.

“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.” President Trump said.

Despite mounting concerns about the safety of the 737 MAX model, Boeing’s statement reiterated the manufacturer’s “full confidence” in the safety of the model. 189 people were killed when Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia in 2018 while 157 people were killed when flight ET302 crashed in Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa. Both crashes involved the 737 MAX model, Boeing’s best-selling model.

Three American airlines that operate using the 737 MAX model, Southwest Airlines Co., American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines, scrambled to reassign planes and rebook flights in the wake of the Federal Aviation Administration’s statement.

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