BEVERLY HILLS, March 14, (THEWILL) – Boeing has grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft after investigators uncovered new evidence at the scene of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The US plane-maker said it would suspend all 371 of the aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration said fresh evidence as well as newly refined satellite data prompted the decision to temporarily ban the jets.
The FAA had previously held out while many countries banned the aircraft.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued an emergency order to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft after a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.
“We are going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line,” Trump told newsmen at the White House.
According to him, the FAA is prepared to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence received from the site, and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints.
Countries that have earlier grounded the Boeing 737 Max include Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Mongolia, all European Union Countries, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Argentina, Turkey, Egypt, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.
Meanwhile, Germany’s federal agency responsible for investigating air accidents has said it will not analyse the black box from the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday, casting uncertainty over the process of finding out what may have caused the disaster.
“This is a new type of aircraft with a new black box, with new software. We can’t do it,” said Germout Freitag, a spokesman for Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU).
The move leaves unclear the destination of the black box, which may yield vital details of what caused the Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 to plunge to the ground, killing 157 people.
A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines had said earlier that the black boxes recovered from the crashed plane would be sent to Germany for analysis.
Canada also grounded 737 MAX jets, saying satellite data suggested similarities to a previous crash involving the same plane model.
The still unexplained crash followed another involving a Boeing 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people.
Although there is no proof of any link, the twin disasters have spooked passengers, led to the grounding of most of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet and hammered shares in the U.S. plane maker.