President Trump announced Wednesday that he has ordered all Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners grounded in the United States.
That moves the U.S. into line with the rest of the world, following two Max 8 crashes in barely five months that killed a total of nearly 350 people.
The FAA had been dragging its feet on the decision leaving the U.S. as the only country still allowing the planes to fly, but is now expected to issue a formal ban.
A total of 74 of the jets are are in the fleets of Southwest, American and United Airlines.
“Any planes that are currently in the air “will be grounded upon landing at the destination,” Trump said.
Canada had announced its own Max 8 ban earlier Wednesday.
“Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines said Wednesday that it will send the voice and data recorders from its ill-fated Flight 302 to be analyzed in Europe,” the Washington Post reported. “The data from the two flight recorders are eagerly awaited as investigators look for any connection” between Sunday’s Max 8 crash in Ethiopia and a similar one last October off Indonesia.
“Two major fatal accidents on the same airplane model, brand new airplane model, in six months — so there are a lot of questions to be answered on the airplane,” the head of Ethiopian Airlines told CNN on Monday.
Boeing’s 737 Max series was introduced just over two years ago; about 350 had been in active service around the world before the Sunday near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Investigations into the causes of the two crashes are ongoing, but suspicions so far appear to focus on a new autopilot system Boeing designed for these latest versions of its venerable 737.