President Trump on Wednesday changed course and announced that the US would ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes from the country’s airspace until further notice over safety concerns.
“We’re going to be ordering an emergency order to ground all 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line,” the president announced at the White House.
“Any plane currently in the air will go to its destination and thereafter be grounded until further notice. So planes that are in the air will be grounded, if they’re the 737 MAX, will be grounded upon landing at the destination.”
The move came as the US was the only major country not to have already grounded the flights following two similar, deadly crashed Indonesia and Ethiopia.
More than 40 countries including the entire EU have suspended flights by the plane.
China ordered its airlines to ground the planes — they had 96 MAX 8 jets in service, more than one-fourth of the roughly 370 MAX jets in circulation.
The European Aviation Safety Agency said that “at this early stage” of the most recent investigation, “it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events.”