Airlines React to FAA Order to Ground Boeing 737 MAX Planes

Airlines across the United States have been reacting to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX planes after the fatal crash Sunday in Ethiopia, which left 157 people dead.

According to Reuters.com, U.S. president Donald Trump announced Wednesday he had signed an emergency order from the Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday grounding the 737 MAX following two crashes over the last six months involving the same aircraft.

The Lion Air accident in October killed 189 people.

In addition to the sales of the Boeing plane being effectively frozen, airlines around the world have started reacting to the popular 737 MAX being grounded, forcing carriers to move planes around to avoid massive delays and outright cancellations.

In addition to the U.S. grounding the Boeing planes, other countries have banned the aircraft from their airspace includes the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, India, Australia and more.

In terms of the airlines impacted the most by the grounding, Southwest has more 737 MAX aircraft in service than any other American carrier with 34. The airline will have to work hard to reassign flights using its remaining fleet of planes.

Southwest released an official statement:

We have been in constant contact with the FAA and Boeing since Ethiopian Airlines’ accident last Sunday. While we remain confident in the MAX 8 after completing more than 88,000 flight hours accrued over 41,000 flights, we support the actions of the FAA and other regulatory agencies and governments across the globe that have asked for further review of the data – including information from the flight data recorder – related to the recent accident involving the MAX 8. The Safety of our Customers and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and today’s action reflects the commitment to supporting the current investigations and regulatory concerns.

Our goal is to operate our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our Customers’ expectations during the busy spring travel season. Additionally, to support our Customers, Southwest is offering flexible rebooking policies. Any Customer booked on a canceled MAX 8 flight can rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs. A Travel Advisory with additional information for Customers will be posted on Southwest.com.

United Airlines operates 14 Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet, and the carrier took to Twitter to release a statement regarding the FAA’s decision Wednesday:

United’s statement on the FAA grounding pic.twitter.com/CfMNC7AkI4

As for American Airlines, the carrier grounded the 24 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet to comply with the updated FAA mandates. The company released an official statement on the decision:

On average, American operates 85 flights per day on the MAX 8, out of 6,700 departures throughout the American Airlines system. Our operations center is working to re-route aircraft throughout the system to cover as much of our schedule as we can.

The safety and security of our team members and our customers remains our top priority. We continue to have the utmost confidence in our fleet, which is flown by our highly-trained pilots and maintained by our highly-skilled maintenance team.

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