(CBS) — President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the FAA will be grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 jets, in the wake of two deadly crashes involving that aircraft type in the past six months.
“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 at the White House.
The president said the FAA and Chicago-based Boeing agreed with the decision to ground those aircraft, and all airlines have been notified that the planes will be grounded.
“Any plane currently in the air will go to its destination, and thereafter be grounded until further notice,” Trump said.“The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.”
In a statement, Boeing said it still has “full confidence” the Max 8 and Max 9 planes are safe, but agreed the aircraft should be grounded “out of an abundance of caution, and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety.”
“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. “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. 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.”
Authorities in the European Union and more than a dozen nations already had banned Max 8 and Max 9 planes from their airspace — including Australia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, and Singapore.
On Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. In October, a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew.
Both crashes involved Max 8 aircraft, which nosedived shortly after takeoff. However, there has been no evidence that the two crashes were caused by the same issue.
Before Trump’s announcement that Max 8 and Max 9 planes would be grounded in the U.S., the FAA had ordered Boeing to begin safety-related software enhancements on those planes by next month.
There are 74 of these planes used in the United States and 387 worldwide.
The changes to the Boeing jets have been in the works since the Lion Air crash in October.
One of the changes includes updates to the anti-stall system, which automatically points the plane’s nose down if sensors find the plane could be in danger of losing lift.