More countries ground Boeing 737 MAX jets after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, despite FAA safety assurance

A Boeing 737 MAX.
(Image credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Australia and Singapore temporarily barred Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from flying in and out of their airports, following Monday's decision by China, Indonesia, and several national airlines to ground all 737 MAX jets following a fatal crash in Ethiopia on Sunday. Almost 40 percent of the 371 Boeing 737 MAX jets in service globally have been grounded, Flightglobal reports, including China's 97 jets and Brazilian carrier Gol Airlines 121 MAX 8 aircraft.

To assuage concerns about the safety of the MAX 8 — Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash was the second in five months for that model of Boeing aircraft — the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a "continued airworthiness notification" for 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing said it will be rolling out improvement to the 737 MAX flight control software in coming weeks.

Before the Ethiopia Airlines crash, The New York Times details, the 737 MAX 8 made about 8,500 flights a week. It is the world's fastest-selling modern aircraft, and with 4,661 on order, Reuters says, "737 MAX 8s could become the workhorses for airlines around the globe for decades." Boeing shares closed down 5 percent on Monday, paring earlier, steeper losses.

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Airlines in the the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, and Europe are continuing to fly their 737 MAX 8s, and officials in the U.S. and Europe say they're "confident that pilot training, maintenance practices, and safeguards in place will prevent a catastrophe such as the one that killed 157 people in Ethiopia on Sunday," The Washington Post reports. "For the countries and airlines that have grounded the plane, the decision reflects fears about their unfamiliarity with the new technology and the potential fallout from a catastrophe — particularly for new and smaller carriers."

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