The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes on Wednesday.
Boeing's newest version of its best-selling airliner ever was supposed to boost its fortunes for years to come. Instead it has turned into the company's biggest headache, with more than 40 countries, including the U.S., grounding the 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash proved one too many.
Scott Hamilton, the aviation industry consultant for Leeham News and Analysis on Bainbridge Island, is displeased with the time it took for the U.S. to temporarily ban Boeing's 737 MAX 8 and 9 from the skies.
"The government has handled this very badly,” Hamilton said. “The U.S. historically has been looked to as a leader in aviation safety, and in this case they have been the absolutely last agency to take action on this airplane."
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in the U.S. were being grounded following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster and another crash involving the same model jet five months earlier in Indonesia. Many nations in the world had already barred the aircraft from their airspace.
Trump said he didn't want to take any chances, even though the Federal Aviation Administration had said it didn't have any data to show the passenger jets are unsafe.
Still, Trump gave Boeing a vote of confidence, declaring it "a great, great company with a track record that is so phenomenal."
A growing number of airlines and countries around the world have grounded Boeing 737 Max jets or banned them from their airspace following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people on Sunday, five months after a similar Indonesian Lion Air jet plunged into the ocean, killing 189. A look at those countries and airlines:
Australia has announced a temporary ban on flights by 737 Max aircraft, although none of its airlines currently operate them. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said Tuesday that the ban will affect two foreign airlines — SilkAir and Fiji Airways — that use them for flights to Australia.
Brazil's Gol Airlines has suspended the use of seven Max 8 jets. The airline said it hopes to return the aircraft to use as soon as possible. Gol said it has made nearly 3,000 flights with the Max 8.
Canadian on Wednesday closed its airspace to the Max 8. Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said a comparison of vertical fluctuations found a "similar profile" to the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people in October. Canada lost 18 of its citizens in Sunday's crash, the second highest number after Kenya.
Cayman Airways, a Caribbean carrier, has stopped using its two Max 8 jets. President and CEO Fabian Whorms said the move starting Monday will cause changes to flight schedules. Cayman is the flag carrier of Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory.
China has 96 Max 8 jets in service, belonging to carriers such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The civil aviation authority directed the planes to be grounded indefinitely on Monday. There were eight Chinese citizens on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after taking off on Sunday.
A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines said it grounded its remaining four Max 8 jets as an "extra safety precaution" while it investigates Sunday's deadly crash. The airline is awaiting the delivery of 25 more Max 8 jets.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued a directive grounding all 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. EASA said in its emergency airworthiness directive Tuesday that "at this early stage" of the most recent investigation, "it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events." The grounding applies to all European Union airspace.
Fiji has suspended all Max 8 flights in and out of the country. The decision only affects one operator, Fiji Airways.
Hong Kong has banned the operation of all 737 Max aircraft "into, out of and over" the key Asian aviation hub beginning Wednesday evening. The announcement from the Civil Aviation Department said the ban would continue "until further notice." It said the department has been in close contact with the two airlines, SpiceJet of India and Russia's Globus Airlines, that use the aircraft to operate flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.
Icelandair Group has temporarily suspended operations of its three 737 Max aircraft until further notice. President and CEO Bogi Nels Bogason said Tuesday that the temporary suspension won't impact the company's operations, as it only affects three aircraft out of a fleet of 33.
India has grounded all 737 Max 8 planes. A statement late Tuesday said the planes "will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations." The statement did not say how many planes were affected.
Indonesia has temporarily grounded Max 8 jets to inspect their airworthiness. Director General of Air Transportation Polana B. Pramesti said the move was made to ensure flight safety. A Lion Air model of the same plane crashed in Indonesia in October. Indonesian airlines operate 11 Max 8 jets. Lion Air, which owns 10 of them, said it will try to minimize the impact of the decision on operations. The other Max 8 jet belongs to national carrier Garuda.
New Zealand has suspended Max 8 flights in and out of the country. The decision only affects one operator, Fiji Airways. No New Zealand airlines use the Max 8 planes.
The Civil Aviation Authority said no Malaysian carriers operate the Max 8, but that foreign airlines are banned from flying the plane in Malaysia, and from transiting in the country, until further notice.
Mexico's civil aviation agency announced Wednesday night that it is suspending immediately all flights by Max 8 and 9 jets in its airspace.
Oman and the United Arab Emirates have barred flights by Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. Oman's Public Authority for Civil Aviation made the sultanate's announcement, without elaborating on its reasoning. State-owned Oman Air operates five Max 8 aircraft and said it was rescheduling other planes for its flights.
Copa Airlines has temporarily suspend operations of its six MAX 9 planes until the cause of the Ethiopian crash is known.
Singapore has temporarily banned Max 8 jets — and other models in the Max range — from entering and leaving the country. SilkAir, a regional carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, has six Max 8 jets. It said the ban "will have an impact on some of the airline's flight schedules."
Comair, the operator of British Airways and Kulula flights in South Africa, has grounded its Max 8 while it consults with Boeing, other operators and technical experts. Its statement did not say how many planes were affected. It said the decision was made without intervention from regulatory authorities.
South Korean airline Eastar Jet has suspended operations of its two Max 8 planes and replaced them with Boeing 737-800 planes starting Wednesday on routes to Japan and Thailand. The airline said it hasn't found any problems, but is voluntarily grounding the planes in response to customer concerns.
Turkish Airlines has suspended all Max flights. In a statement Tuesday on Twitter, CEO Bilal Eksi said the suspension would continue until the "uncertainty affecting safety is cleared."
The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority has banned the aircraft from its airspace in what is said was "a precautionary measure." The Max is the workhorse of the Dubai government-owned budget carrier FlyDubai. It operates 11 Max 8 and 2 Max 9 jets. Its total fleet is around 60 aircraft, including other models of the 737.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded the MAX Wednesday, saying "new information" indicated some similarities with a Lion Air crash in the Java Sea that killed 189 people in October. The agency suspended the jets while investigators determine whether there was a shared cause of the two crashes. The FAA had been criticized for allowing the planes to fly while dozens of countries suspended their use.
Vietnam has banned Max planes from flying into its airspace. The ban lasts until further notice. None of Vietnam's four airlines uses the Max model planes in their fleets, but Korea's Eastar Jet, Thai Lion Air and Malaysia's Malindor Air fly those planes to Vietnamese destinations.