After consulting with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and airlines, Boeing is throwing its support behind a decision to ground its 737 Max planes.
“Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft,” the company said in a statement.
Boeing’s statement comes amid mounting pressure for the FAA to ground Boeing’s planes and belies the company’s reported efforts behind the scenes to keep its planes aloft — at least in the United States.
The company’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, reportedly called from Chicago to assure President Trump about the safety of the planes, which have been involved in crashes on flights operated by Nigerian and Indonesian airline carriers, according to a report in The New York Times.
According to the Times report, the call had been planned since Monday, but came after the President had called the safety of passenger airlines into question — blaming an overabundance of technology for the recent spate of accidents.
Indeed, Boeing’s acquiescence arrives even as President Donald Trump was readying an emergency order that would ground the planes by fiat.
“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry,” according to a statement from Boeing. “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
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