United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his administration’s decision to ground Boeing 737 Max planes. The development comes in the wake of an uneventful Boeing 737 Max 8 crash in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Airline crash killed all 157 people on board on Sunday.
Earlier, Washington had asked its authorities to keep the aircraft flying.
Speaking from White House, Trump said that planes currently in the air would be ordered to land at their destination and remain grounded. The airlines and pilots had been notified of the decision, he added.
“The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern,” Trump was quoted by the media.
Over 40 countries have already banned Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft following the deadly March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash. There were continuous calls in the US to follow suit. However, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration stated that it did not see “no systemic performance issues” that would prompt the agency to stop the flights of the jet.
“Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll very quickly come up with the answer, but until they do, the planes are grounded,” Trump said.
On Tuesday, Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg had met the U.S. President. Muilenburg assured Trump that the Boeing jets were safe. The meeting came after Trump tweeted that “airplanes are far too complex to fly”.
The U.S.’ move came hours after Canada said that the country had banned Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from its airspace. Canada’s transport minister Marc Garneau said that the newly available satellite-tracking data showed similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and another similar accident in Indonesia in October last year.
“The satellite tracking data showing the vertical path of the Ethiopian jet at taking off and similar data from the Lion Air crash had shown similar vertical fluctuations and oscillations,” Garneau was quoted by The New York Times as saying.
Several countries including Australia, Singapore, UK, Ireland, France, India, Egypt and the Netherlands have also disallowed the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from operation in its airspace. A host of carriers like Jet Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Aeromexico, and Turkish Airlines have also grounded their fleets containing the said aircraft, citing customer safety.