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Trump Grounds Boeing 737 Max Flights

March 13, 2019, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated March 14, 8:05 AM
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After touting the safety and reliability of the Boeing 737 Max jets, President Donald Trump announced that the US is grounding the aircraft, reversing an earlier decision by American regulators to keep the jets flying in the wake of the recent crash in Ethiopia.

The Federal Aviation Administration resisted calls to ground the plane even after safety regulators in dozens of countries banned Boeing 737 Max flights.

The FAA recently said it had seen “no systemic performance issues” that would prompt it to halt flights of the jet.

The FAA said the decision to ground the 737 MAX was based in part on “new evidence collected at the site” of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

A brief call from CEO Dennis Muilenberg to President Trump on Tuesday to try to convince him not to ground his company’s jets came up short.

“The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern,” President Trump told reporters in the White House.

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The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 killed all 157 people on board. In October, a 737 Max 8 operated by Indonesian carrier Lion Air crashed in a similar circumstance—just after takeoff—and 189 people were killed.

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