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  1. ITV Report

Boeing grounds entire global fleet of 737 Max aircrafts

  • ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports

Boeing has temporarily grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircrafts out of "an abundance of caution".

The announcement comes as the US issued an "emergency order" grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircrafts following the Ethiopia crash.

In a statement Chairman of The Boeing Company Dennis Muilenburg said:

“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."

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Minutes before Boeing made its announcement US President Donald Trump joined a host of other nations in banning the Max 8 and Max 9 aircrafts.

The Federal Aviation Authority had previously abstained from banning the aircrafts despite several countries across the world grounding the planes.

However, Mr Trump cited "new information" that had come to light in an ongoing investigation but he did not elaborate.

The president added the safety of the American people and "all people" is of "paramount concern".

He said airplanes currently in the air will go to its destination and then be grounded.

The US and Canada are among the last few countries to announce a ban on the aircraft.

France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK all banned the planes from their airspace on Tuesday afternoon after 157 people died in the Ethiopia crash.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued orders for the aircraft to be grounded from 7pm on Tuesday.

It means planes flying over or into Europe will not be able to complete their journeys.

In a statement it said it had issued the directive "as a precautionary measure", adding it is "taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of passengers".

It extended the ban to include Max 8 and Max 9, although only the first type was involved in the crash in Ethiopia.