Multiple countries ground Boeing 737 Max jets after Ethiopian crash; FAA says planes can still be operated

Multiple countries including Britain, France and Germany have temporarily suspended the use of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft following the deadly crash of one of the planes in Ethiopia.

The European Aviation Safety Agency suspended all flight operations for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 both within or out of the Euroean Union. Their decision came after the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it grounded the aircraft as a precautionary measure “issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday it will continue to trust and use the aircraft, but the U.S. aviation authority said it’s investigating Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and its crash on Sunday that killed 157 people.

“The FAA will issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) for Boeing 737 Max operators. The FAA continuously assesses and oversees the safety performance of U.S. commercial aircraft. If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” the statement said.

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France and Germany also announced on Tuesday that they would be closing their airspace to all Boeing 737 Max planes to ensure safety. Germany said the models would be barred from their airspace until June 12.

"Given the circumstances of the accident in Ethiopia, the French authorities have taken the decision, as a precautionary measure, to ban all commercial flights of Boeing 737 MAXs into, out of, or over French territory," the French civil aviation authority said in a statement, according to France 24.

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer also reportedly said that the country's airspace would be closed to 747 Maxs "until all doubts have been cleared up."

This came as multiple countries and airlines stopped using the Boeing aircraft in response to the crash, including Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Malaysia also banned Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying to or from Malaysia and transiting in Malaysia until further notice.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, meanwhile, said it has grounded the Boeing on recommendation from European aviation authorities. The Norwegian carrier has 18 of the planes.

Mexico's Aeromexico airline has grounded all of their 737 Max's, as has India's Jet Airways, and Brazil's Gol airline.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority announced the move to suspend the operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from or to the country on early Tuesday morning as well, Reuters reported.

“This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia,” Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO Shane Carmody said in a statement.

No Australian airlines actually operate the aircraft, but two foreign airlines reportedly use the planes to Australia, including Fiji Airways and Singapore-based SilkAir, which already suspended the use of the aircraft.

China, the country with the most Boeing 737 Max planes, said on Monday that it’s also temporarily grounding the aircraft in question.

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The order came following “the management principle of zero tolerance for security risks” and pointed that the crash was the second after another of the planes fell into the ocean off the coast of Indonesia in similar circumstances on Oct. 29, killing all aboard.

Indonesia and Singapore followed the suit, while Chinese authorities said a further notice will be issued after the consultation with the FAA.

In a statement by Boeing said it was “is deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air Flight 610, which has have weighed heavily on the entire Boeing team, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those onboard.”

“Safety is a core value for everyone at Boeing and the safety of our airplanes, our customers’ passengers and their crews is always our top priority,” the statement continued. “The 737 MAX is a safe airplane that was designed, built and supported by our skilled employees who approach their work with the utmost integrity.”

It added that “Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.”

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After multiple airlines and aviation authorities grounded the plane, Boeing released another statement doubling-down on the claims that the aircraft is safe to travel and noted that the company isn’t planning to issue new guidance to pilots “based on the information currently available.”

“We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets,” Boeing said in a statement, according to Reuters. “We’ll continue to engage with all of them to ensure they have all the information they need to have the confidence they need safely continue to operate their fleets or return them to service.”

To see if your next flight is on an affected Boeing aircraft, you can visit Flightstats.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.