Boeing has recommended the temporary grounding of it’s “entire global fleet” of the 737 MAX aircraft after several countries, including the US, banned their use in the wake the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board.
Boeing said it proposed the suspension to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution”.
“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s president, CEO and chairman in a statement on the company’s website.
“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.”
The FAA ordered the temporary grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft shortly afterwards. The moves came minutes after US President Donald Trump issued an emergency order calling for the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft in the country.
Sunday’s crash, that took place just outside Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, was the second accident involving the US-based aerospace giant’s MAX 8 model within six months.
Last October, a Lion Air-operated MAX 8 went down in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.
Both crashes took place shortly after takeoff and have prompted intense scrutiny over the aeroplane’s control systems.
In addition to the US, several other nations have also banned the use of 737 MAX models in their airspace in recent days, including China, India and the 28-countries comprising the European Union.
Shares in the company fell precipitously on Wednesday, plunging by nearly three percent and putting the stock down more than 13 percent since before Sunday’s crash.
The downturn has wiped billions off the company’s market value