NBC News:- President Donald Trump announced an emergency order from the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounding Boeing 737 Max jets in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday and a Lion Air accident in October that together killed 346 people.
Trump’s announcement came as the FAA faced mounting pressure from aviation advocates and others to ban flights of the planes pending the completion of investigations into the deadly accidents.
Sunday’s crash killed 157 people and the one in Indonesia in October left 189 dead.
“We’re going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9 and planes associated with that line,” Trump announced, referring to “new information and physical evidence that we’ve received” in addition to some complaints.
The FAA said it decided to ground the jets after it found that the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that crashed had a flight pattern very similar to the Lion Air flight.
“It became clear that the track of the Ethiopian flight behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight,” said Steven Gottlieb, deputy director of accident investigations for the FAA.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Sunday’s crash is proceeding with the black boxes from the jet to be sent to France on Wednesday night for examination.
United States airports and airlines reacted to the order Wednesday, acknowledging that it will lead to canceled flights.
Miami International Airport said it expected 19 departures to be canceled Wednesday. Three Boeing Max 8 or Max 9s had landed by about midafternoon Wednesday, the airport’s spokesman, Greg Chin, said. “We expect about 10 more to land here today,” most of them American Airlines flights.
American has roughly 85 flights a day on the Boeing Max 8 and Max 9 jets. United Airlines has about 40 such flights. Southwest Airlines has the most, about 150 flights per day on these types of jets out of the airline’s total of about 4,100 flights daily.
The FAA emergency order followed similar directives from a growing number of countries around the world — including Canada, European nations and China — after Sunday’s crash.