U.S. Joins Rest of World in Grounding All Boeing 737 Max Jets
All Boeing 737 MAX Jets have been immediately grounded in the U.S. following an executive order by President Trump on Wednesday, the same day that Canada’s transportation minister grounded all of the MAX Jets in that country.
The grounding comes three days after 157 people were killed when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed in Ethiopia, the second time a jet of that model had crashed. The first crash came less than five months before that when a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff. Both were new aircrafts.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had earlier in the day supported keeping the aircraft in operation, issuing a statement that “no systematic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft.”
The FAA only changed course after data came in from the Ethiopian crash, it said.
“It became clear the track was very close and behaved similarly to the Lion Air flight,” FAA Administration David Elwell told reporters on a call Wednesday. Though Elwell said there is no timetable for lifting the stoppage, he hopes to keep it “as short as possible.”
“I can’t and I don’t want to hazard a guess as to how long. My hope is that the FAA, the carriers, the manufacturer, that all parties will work very hard to make this grounding as short as possible so that these airplanes can get back up into the sky,”
How it impacts travel
With a storm in the Midwest and the impact of the grounding halting flights all over the country on Wednesday, advisors are scrambling to get clients rebooked on flights.
According to FlightAware, there has already been close to 3,000 cancellations across U.S. airports on Wednesday, with most coming from airlines impacted by the grounding including Southwest (440 flights), United (333), and American Airlines (193).
Americans Airlines, which has 24 aircrafts impacted by the order, said in a statement that it is rebooking all of its passengers “as quickly as possible.”