Why Boeing says it now supports grounding 737 Max planes after deadly crashes

The head of Boeing said Wednesday he and his company now support United States aviation regulators’ decision to ground its planes that have been involved in deadly crashes.

President Trump announced the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision about the 737 Max on Wednesday, after his administration held back on grounding the planes even as other countries and regions around the world kept them out of the skies as a precaution.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s president and CEO, said the company is “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.”

Boeing’s support for the grounding comes a day after the New York Times reported that Muilenburg spoke over the phone with President Trump and said the jets’ U.S. operations shouldn’t be suspended.

Over the weekend, an Ethiopian Airlines flight operating with one of those 737s crashed and killed 157 people — a catastrophe that came less than six months after another aircraft of that variety crashed over Indonesian seas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

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Boeing maintained in the news release Wednesday that the company “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.”

Boeing said it had recommended the temporary grounding to the FAA to reassure the public the planes are safe as the causes of the crashes are investigated.

“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,” Muilenburg said.

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