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Thu, Mar 14, 2019

Industry Reacts To Order To Ground Boeing 737 MAX Fleet

Planemaker, Unions, Airlines Weigh In On The FAA's Decision

The industry is weighing in on the FAA's decision to ground the domestic fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 airplanes. The planes have been grounded around the world following the accident in Ethiopia last weekend which fatally injured all 157 people on board the airplane.

Boeing said in a statement that it continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.  "However, after consultation with the FAA, the NTSB, and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, 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.

“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," Boeing said. "There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. 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.”

ALPA

“ALPA supports the decision by the FAA and Transport Canada to ground the Boeing 737 MAX. The FAA reports that it made its decision ‘as a result of the data-gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today.’ Out of an abundance of caution, North American regulators have acted in the best interests of aviation safety.

“ALPA continues to monitor the situation and is working alongside aviation authorities in the United States and Canada to uphold the safety and integrity of our air transportation system. We strongly encourage the investigative authorities responsible to expedite the investigation of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and identify any corrective action if necessary in order to return this aircraft to service."

APFA

“We are relieved the U.S. Government issued an order to ground the 737 Max 8 & 9 today, days after the tragic accident in Ethiopia. The announcement was made shortly after an interview I conducted live on CNBC, and while I was being briefed by American Airlines senior management that a grounding was imminent," said APFA National president Lori Bassani.

"Our members, the Flight Attendants of American Airlines were growing increasingly concerned with their safety and the safety of our traveling public as days passed and news stories aired of global groundings. Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders and safety is in our DNA. We deserve a thorough and transparent investigation into how this accident occurred and how an accident such as this can be prevented in the future. American Airlines has assured us they are working to minimize any inconvenience to our members and passengers who may be impacted by this grounding.”

Southwest Airlines

"(W)e have removed our 34 MAX 8 aircraft from scheduled service. Southwest operates a fleet of more than 750 Boeing 737s, and the 34 MAX 8 aircraft account for less than five percent of our daily flights.

"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."

(Source: news releases as cited. Images from file)

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.alpa.org, www.apfa.org, www.southwest.com

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