Following decisions in some 42 countries to ban flights by Boeing 737 MAX jets, the US relented and grounded the aircraft on Wednesday, prompting Boeing to temporarily suspend operations of the entire global fleet of 371 aircraft, media reports said.
Despite clamouring by pilots, flight attendants, consumers and politicians from both major parties to ground the planes in the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had been resolute, saying on Tuesday that it had seen “no systemic performance issues” that would prompt it to halt flights of the jet, reported The New York Times.
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However, on Wednesday, Canadian and American aviation authorities said they were grounding the planes after newly available satellite-tracking data suggested similarities between Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia and one involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in Indonesia in October, the report said.
“The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” US President Donald Trump was quoted as telling reporters in the White House in making the announcement.
“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,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, chairman of The Boeing Company.
“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,” he added.
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