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BREAKING NEWS

US joins EU in grounding all flights on Boeing 737 MAX planes

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US joins EU in grounding all flights on Boeing 737 MAX planes
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REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol
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US President Donald Trump has become the latest leader to ground all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on Sunday.

Trump said on Wednesday the planes would now be grounded until Boeing "comes up with a solution".

The US Federal Aviation Administration had faced criticism for up until now, holding out on banning the aircraft, while other countries had already suspended the model.

Earlier on Wednesday, Canada grounded the planes after the transport minister Marc Garneau said he received new evidence about the crash in Addis Ababa.

It follows the European Union's aviation safety agency suspension all flights on Boeing 737 MAX planes in the bloc on Tuesday.

These decisions come after the same model plane was involved in two deadly crashes in five months, causing concerns for the world's biggest planemaker.

On Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board who were en route to Nairobi, Kenya. This crash comes only five months after the same model Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Ethiopian Airlines crash: What do we know about the victims?

How has Boeing reacted?

In a press statement on Wednesday, Boeing's CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX."

But added after consulting with the FAA, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, it had determined "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft's safety", to recommend to the FAA "the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft".

The company added, its "deepest sympathies" to the families and loved ones of those killed in the Ethiopia accident, as well as the Indonesia crash, which killed 189 people in October.

Which other countries have grounded the Boeing model?

Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Oman, China, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mongolia, Ireland Netherlands, Norway and Austria have also joined the growing list of nations suspending Boeing 737 MAX flights from their airspace.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also banned all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from United Kingdom airspace.

The CAA has issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or flying over the UK.

France, Germany, and Italy also grounded the Boeing 737 MAX.

However, the response from specific airlines has been inconsistent.

The Irish low-cost airliner Ryanair said it is not planning to make any changes to the delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aeroplane next month, the chief executive Michael O'Leary was quoted as saying on Monday.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Airlines said via a press release, that it will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice.

“In response to the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities," said Norwegian’s acting Chief Operating Officer Tomas Hesthammer.

The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer has confirmed that a technical team will be travel to the Ethiopian crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

According to Boeing, the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling aeroplane in the aviation giant's history. The aircraft has accumulated nearly 4,700 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. However, Boeing shares continue to slide dramatically as the world waits for data from the black box of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.