US finally grounds all Boeing 737 Max aircraft 'effective immediately' after days of pressure following Ethiopia crash

Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until Trump's announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn't have any data to


                            US finally grounds all Boeing 737 Max aircraft 'effective immediately' after days of pressure following Ethiopia crash

By Zeke Miller

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is issuing an emergency order Wednesday grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "effective immediately," in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people, President Donald Trump said.

Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until Trump's announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn't have any data to show the jets are unsafe. Trump cited "new information" that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into the incident. He did not elaborate.

"All of those planes are grounded, effective immediately," Trump said during a scheduled briefing on border security.

Trump said the U.S. is issuing an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "effective immediately," in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Trump said the U.S. is issuing an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "effective immediately," in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trump said any airplane currently in the air will go to its destination and then be grounded. He added all airlines and affected pilots had been notified.

Trump said the safety of the American people is of "paramount concern," and added that the FAA would soon put out a statement on the action.

Trump said the decision to ground the aircraft "didn't have to be made, but we thought it was the right decision."

All 157 passengers and crew perished after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down six minutes after taking off from on March 10 (Pic: AP)
All 157 passengers and crew perished after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down six minutes after taking off from on March 10 (Pic: AP)

The president insisted the announcement was coordinated with aviation officials in Canada, U.S. carriers and aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

"Boeing is an incredible company," Trump said. "They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they'll quickly come up with an answer."

The president insisted the announcement was coordinated with aviation officials in Canada, U.S. carriers and aircraft manufacturer Boeing. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)
The president insisted the announcement was coordinated with aviation officials in Canada, U.S. carriers and aircraft manufacturer Boeing. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

In a statement, Boeing said it "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX." The company added that it had decided "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."

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company was "supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution."

Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger planes sit on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on March 13, 2019 in Phoenix, United States.(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger planes sit on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on March 13, 2019 in Phoenix, United States.(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)