Washington: Dealing a big blow to its fame and reputation of being the pioneer in the aviation world, United States President Donald Trump has finally ordered grounding of home made Boeing 737 Max planes.
Trump’s decision came as most of the countries including India, who had introduced this new age aircraft into their fleet, grounded it following the fatal accident of an Ethiopian airline Boeing 737 Max, killing 159 passengers onboard.
Trump said from the White House on Wednesday that planes currently in the air would be ordered to land, and that airlines and pilots had been notified of the decision.
“It’s a terrible, terrible thing,” Trump said about the airline, which led to more than 50 nations ordering the Max 8’s grounding.
America’s Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have the largest number of the Max planes in their fleet at 58 and Trump’s decision could be a huge setback for the Seattle-based Boeing company.
Early on Tuesday, Trump had spoken to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who assured him the 737 Max 8 was safe, despite two recent crashes. Hours after the call, the Federal Aviation Administration said it remained confident in the planes, even as governments across Europe and Asia grounded them.
Indian carriers such as Jet Airways and SpiceJet have a combined strength of 18 Boeing Max 8 aircraft in their fleet. While Jet Airways had already grounded the Max aircraft owing to its ongoing financial crisis, SpiceJet had to ground 12 of its aircraft after aviation watchdog DGCA on Tuesday evening ordered grounding of the aircraft.
US actions mean Boeing would have to act fast, an not merely offer lip services, in fixing the problem. Several reports have blamed the aircraft software for the crash. Pilots operating the aircraft have complaint about the software overwriting the pilots’ command. Boeing had said it will offer an upgradation soon.