American Airlines has flown more than 2.5 million passengers on almost 18,000 flights safely on its Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet since November 2017 when it first began using the aircraft, according to a company statement posted Wednesday.
France's air safety agency has began studying data from the black boxes of a Boeing 737 MAX plane that crashed in Ethiopia, as regulators worldwide grounded the plane and the United States plane maker halted deliveries of its latest model. In October, a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia killing all 189 people on board. There are 371 of the jets worldwide, and dozens of nations have grounded them.
The US Federal Aviation Administration grounded the planes on Wednesday, saying regulators had new satellite evidence that showed the movements of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 were similar to those of Lion Air Flight 610.
A man carries a piece of debris on his head at the crash site of a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 10, 2019.
This led to some uncertainty for a couple of hours before the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) announced late on Wednesday that they would analyse the black-box flight recorders. We hear from two aviation experts on the future of aviation safety and whether a lack of pilot training may have played a role.
As American's statement implies, the impact on travelers will vary depending on the airline and its use of the 737 MAX aircraft.
Before the cause of the crash is ascertained, companies are wary of extending their contracts with Boeing. That includes cockpit displays, flight controls, navigation systems, weather radar, communications systems and collision avoidance systems, many of which work with or include auto-pilot systems, according to Collins Aerospace's website.
But Boeing did not give the number of workers who specifically work on the MAX program.