After consulting with the Federal Aviation Administration, the US National Transportation Safety Board, and aviation authorities, Boeing has decided to temporarily ground its 737 MAX operations.
This comes three days after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 on board, including 18 Canadians. The plane was a Boeing 737 MAX.
“Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX,” said Boeing in a statement issued Wednesday.
“However, after consultation with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — 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.”
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) March 13, 2019
“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.
Muilenburg said that safety is a core value at Boeing 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 said.
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Flight ET 302 took off on the morning of March 10 at 8:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on route to Nairobi, Kenya. The airport lost contact with the plane just six minutes later at 8:44 am.
According to the airline, the plane underwent “rigorous first check maintenance” on February 4, 2019, and was piloted by a senior captain.
The cause of the crash is currently unknown.
The global tragedy claimed the lives of everyone on board, which included 149 passengers and eight crew members. The victims were of 35 different nationalities, including 18 Canadians.
Many of the passengers were heading to a United Nation’s environmental conference in Nairobi.
This is the second crash of a MAX 8 in five months.