Boeing is backing the decision by the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety and Airlines to ground it’s 737 Max planes.
While the company is trying to juggle its handling of business and public perception of its fleet since the crash, it has made the move as a show of caution and in some ways, a bow to pressure from the bad publicity generated by the Ethiopian crash.
‘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 company said in a statement.
The company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, reportedly called from Chicago to assure President Trump about the safety of the planes, which have been involved in crashes on flights operated by Ethiopian and Indonesian airline carriers, according to a report in The New York Times.
According to the Times report, the call had been planned since Monday, but came after the president had called the safety of passenger airlines into question — blaming an overabundance of technology for the recent spate of accidents.
Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019
Indeed, Boeing’s acquiescence arrives even as President Donald Trump was readying an emergency order that would ground the planes.
BREAKING: Trump: "We're going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition regarding all flights of the 737 max 8 and 737 max 9."
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) March 13, 2019
And the Federal Aviation Administration has now grounded the planes.
Here’s the statement from the FAA:
The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.
The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.