EU Bans Boeing 737 MAX Flights After Ethiopia Crash

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The European Union’s aviation safety regulator on Tuesday suspended all flights in the bloc by Boeing 737 MAX planes in the biggest setback yet for the U.S. planemaker following a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

The move came after Britain, Germany and France joined a wave of suspensions of the aircraft in the wake of Sunday’s crash, and put pressure on the United States to follow suit.

Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker, which has seen billions of dollars wiped off its market value, said it understood the countries’ actions but retained “full confidence” in the 737 MAX and had safety as its priority.

It also said the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) had not demanded any further action related to 737 MAX operations.

The cause of Sunday’s crash, which followed another disaster with a 737 MAX five months ago in Indonesia that killed 189 people, remains unknown.

October’s Lion Air crash is also unresolved but attention has focused so far on the role of a software system designed to push the plane down as well as airline training and maintenance.

Boeing says it plans to update the software in coming weeks.

There is no evidence yet whether the two crashes are linked.

In an unusual move, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it was suspending all flights in the bloc of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 and 9 jets pending more information.

Reuters.

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