White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Fox News that it’s too “early in the process” for the United States to ground the fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s.
Sanders said the decision will ultimately be a process and that the administration will be in constant contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation.
“We know a lot of people in the industry have started to voice concerns about the amount of technology and taking the power out of the hands of the pilots,” Sanders said. “You saw the President talk about that in his tweets earlier today,” she added.
“As a precautionary measure, EASA has published today an Airworthiness Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX aeroplanes in Europe.”
“In addition EASA has published a Safety Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU of the above mentioned models.”
President of flight attendant union calls for grounding
“The United States has the safest aviation system in the world, but Americans are looking for leadership in this time of uncertainty. The FAA must act decisively to restore the public faith in the system. Again, we caution everyone to not jump to conclusions and not interrupt the integrity of the investigations.”
She described the FAA’s notice “insufficient considering the legitimate fear and uncertainty following two deadly accidents involving this aircraft.” The FAA notice, which was issued on Monday, said it would require “design changes” to the plane by April.
Austria, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey suspends use
Austria, Poland and Italy have all suspended the use of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
- Austria announced the suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft over the apparent “massive problems” with the fleet, a statement from Austria’s Transport Minister Norbert Hofer said on Tuesday. Hofer added that “safety is a top priority” and the decision to ground the aircrafts was made “on the basis of the facts currently available.”
- Italy said it was grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as of 9 p.m. Tuesday (4 p.m. ET) over the “continuing lack of definite information” since the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, according to a statement from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) on Tuesday.
- The Polish national carrier LOT also said on Twitter: “In connection with the decision of subsequent #LOT aircraft agencies, LOT flights with the Boeing # 737MAX8 are suspended until further notice.” “Connections as far as the fleet is concerned will be carried out using other types of aircraft,” LOT spokesperson Adrian Kubicki tweeted.
Turkish transportation and infrastructure ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it is grounding all Boeing 737 MAX type aircraft following the two crashes of this type of a plane.
The Turkish Civil Aviation Authority has reviewed the two incidents with the aircraft and has decided to ground the plane from operating in Turkey.
“As a result of the review, the flights of Boeing 737 Max 8 and/or 9 type aircraft have been suspended until a further decision is announced as a precaution in order to ensure flight safety,” Turkish transportation and infrastructure ministry said in the statement.
Turkish transportation spokesperson told CNN when asked for more clarification about this decision, “This decision grounds the aircraft being operated by Turkish companies in Turkey. Turkey has not closed off it’s airspace to the aircraft, but it is still on the table and is being reviewed.”
Turkish Airlines spokesperson, Yahya Ustun, tweeted on Tuesday– “The 12 Boeing 737 MAX type passenger aircraft in our fleet have been grounded for commercial operations until further notice.”
The Dutch Aviation Authority has ordered its airspace closed for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, according to Roel Vincken, a spokesman for the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water management.
Germany, France, Ireland and Iceland also suspends
Germany and Iceland have both joined other countries in introducing suspensions of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft, following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday.
German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer will close the airspace for the Boeing 737 MAX 8, a Transport Ministry spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.
Icelandic airline Icelandair also confirmed they are to suspend the aircraft in tweets sent to customers from their official account on Tuesday.
France’s DGAC civil aviation authority says it has decided to ban Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from French airspace, according to a statement:
“French airline companies do not have Boeing 737 MAX in their fleets. Nevertheless, given the circumstances of the accident in Ethiopia, the French authorities took the decision, as a precautionary measure, to prohibit any commercial flight carried out on a Boeing 737 Max to, from, or over French territory.”
The Irish Aviation Authority has temporarily suspended Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from Irish airspace, according to a statement from the organization.
The suspension went into effect at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.