737 Max Update: Black Boxes From Ethiopia Crash Arrive in France

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Fallout from the Boeing Co. 737 Max jet crash in Ethiopia intensified as the U.S. finally grounded the planes and new data suggested a link to an Indonesian disaster in October involving the same model.

Satellite data and other new evidence from Sunday’s crash raised suspicions about a safety feature on the Max implicated in last year’s Lion Air crash, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Canada also barred Max flights after using fresh information to compare the profiles of the two flights.

Key Developments:
Flight data and voice recorders arrive in France for analysis
France and China discuss major Airbus order
The U.S. and Canada grounded the Max
VietJet to decide on future plans for 200 of the planes after probe

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France Has Black Boxes

The voice and data recorders from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max have arrived in France, a spokesman for the French BEA air-accident investigation office said.

BEA can’t say how long it will take to read the data; agency will analyze it if Ethiopia asks.

Airbus China Talks
Xi Jinping will discuss a major order of Airbus SE planes with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, when the Chinese president visits Paris this month, a French official said Thursday. There are “positive signals” regarding the contract, the official said.

Snatching a deal would be a boost for Airbus in a country that’s become a battleground with Boeing for orders. Bloomberg News reported in September that chances for an $18 billion Airbus deal had been revived amid China’s trade war with the U.S., while Chinese purchases of U.S. goods are part of talks to resolve the two countries’ differences — which could give Boeing a lift.

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Macron and Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed are also discussing a new contract as part of a fleet renewal at Ethiopian Airlines, the official said.

Black Boxes Sent to France (6:36 a.m.)
The voice and data recorders from the crashed plane have been flown to Paris for investigation, according to a spokesman of Ethiopian Airlines. Germany on Wednesday declined a request for assistance, saying it wasn’t technically possible.

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