Additional Countries Ground Their Boeing 737 Max 8 Jets

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Currents News Staff

The European Union suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 jets across its airspace, joining aviation authorities in China, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as individual airlines around the globe.

So far, the U.S. hasn’t followed suit.

Boeing meanwhile said, “safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the max.”

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday – 157 people were killed.

The airline’s C.E.O. said the pilots reported something amiss, in an exchange with air traffic control.

“The pilot reported flight control problems. So, he was having difficulties with the flight control of the airplane, so he asked to return back to base,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines C.E.O.

A Lion Air flight using the same Boeing model, crashed off the coast of Indonesia, last October.

The flight attendant’s union, lawmakers, and others, are seeking F.A.A. action.

One former transportation official says, the agency typically trusts Boeing knows its aircraft best.

“The FAA does not have the kind of expertise that Boeing and other major manufacturers have so they really take them at their word,” said Mary Schiavo, a former Transportation Department Official.

But, a former NTSB official says, barring some revelation in the Ethiopian investigation.

“They are going to have to act. And I think the pressure is building on the carriers, too,” said Peter Goelz, a former NTSB Managing Director.

American and Southwest are among U.S. carriers flying the Boeing 737 Max 8s. Both have expressed confidence in their fleets.