The European Union has joined a host of countries in banning the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet following a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

By The CEO Magazine


Posted on March 13, 2019

The European Union’s aviation safety regulator has suspended all flights in the bloc by Boeing 737 Max 8 following a crash in Ethiopia that killed all 157 passengers.

Britain, Germany, France, India, Australia and Ireland have joined a wave of suspensions of the aircraft in the wake of the crash on Sunday 9 March, just six months after the Lion Air downing killed 189 people in Indonesia. Both accidents involved the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Planes bound for the UK were forced to turn back mid-flight and airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia have also grounded Max 8 jets.

Boeing has lost around US$27 billion in value since the crash, with stock prices sliding nearly 12% – the biggest drop in the brand’s stock in over a decade. The company said that while it understood the countries’ actions, it has “full confidence” in the 737 Max and had safety as its priority.

The newest model of the best-selling Boeing 737, the more fuel-efficient Max 8 model took to the skies just two years ago. Generating almost one-third of the aircraft maker’s operating profit, according to Bloomberg, the Max 8 is a central part of Boeing’s strategy to compete with European rival Airbus.

Analysts say the decision to ground flights in China is particularly damaging to the world’s biggest plane-maker, with the country set to become the world’s first trillion-dollar market for jets.

US under pressure to ground Boeing aircraft

US Senators, airline workers and potential passengers are now piling pressure on the US Federal Aviation Administration to take action against the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Southwest Airlines, American Airlines Group and United Airlines are among the few that say they’re still confident in their fleets.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to complain about the complexity of modern aeroplanes with no specific mention of the crashes.

Exact details on the crash are yet to be released, with experts saying answers could take months.