Just three days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed all 157 people aboard, President Donald Trump issued an emergency order at the White House to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8, 9 and any other aircraft associated with the series Tuesday afternoon.
Trump said he had spoken to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, FFA and the CEO of Boeing, who are all in agreement with the action.
“Any plane currently in the air will go to its destination and thereafter be grounded until further notice,” Trump said. “Pilots have been notified. Airlines have been notified agreeing with this.”
Trump said the safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.
“Our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones,” he said. “To their friends, to their families, and both the Ethiopian and Lion Airlines crashes that involved the 737 Max aircraft. It’s a terrible, terrible thing.”
The crash outside of Addis Abba March 9 involved a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which was similar to a crash in October 2019 involving a Boeing 737 MAX and Lion Airlines in which 187 were killed. According to the New York Times, victims of Ethiopian Airline Flight 302 crash Sunday came from more than 30 nations, including Kenya, Canada, Ethiopia, France, the U.S. and China. The crash occurred approximately six minutes after takeoff.
Trump stressed that Boeing is an incredible company. “They are working very, very hard right now, and hopefully they will very quickly come up with the answer, but until they do, the planes are grounded,” Trump said.
Boeing tweeted a statement responding to the aircraft being grounded, saying that Boeing continues to have the full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. However, after consultation with the FFA, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined – out of an abundance of caution in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety – to recommend to the FFA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.
“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, and Chairman of The Boeing Company. “We are supporting 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.”
According to a March 10 statement, a Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. According to FOX News report March 12, all airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded their Max 8s, as did Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways, Comair in South Africa and Royal Air Maroc in Morocco. Sens. CNN reports that the U.K., France, Germany and several other countries are grounding Boeing 737 Max flights. As of Wednesday afternoon, Boeing’s stock has dropped by more than 2 percent following Trump’s issue of an emergency order to ground all 737 MAX aircraft.