President Trump on Wednesday announced the U.S. will ground Boeing 737 Max aircraft, bowing to heavy pressure after two of the planes were involved in deadly crashes overseas.
“All of those planes are grounded, effective immediately,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The president called Boeing “an incredible company” that is “working very, very hard” to address issues with the aircraft, but said “the safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, acting Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) Daniel Elwell and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg were all consulted and agreed with the decision, Trump said.
Boeing said in a statement following Trump’s announcement that it “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max.”
“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution,” the company said. “Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes, and it always will be.”
The FAA had brushed aside mounting calls to stop flying the planes in the U.S., saying there was no evidence yet to support such an action. Lawmakers in both parties urged airlines to ground the planes pending an investigation into the cause of the crashes.
But Trump disputed that he was under pressure to make the call, suggesting it was a precautionary measure.
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