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March 13, 2019, 2:47 p.m. EDT

Boeing 737 Max’s world gets awfully small after President Trump ground jets

Canada, the U.K., Malaysia, Norwegian Air, Iceland, France, and Ireland become latest to bar Boeing’s 737 Max 8, join Australia and Singapore

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By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch

President Trump used an executive order to ground, “effective immediately,” all 737 Max 8 planes, joining a flurry of countries and air carriers, ranging from Canada to Malaysia, that placed restrictions on Boeing Co.’s /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -6.79% 737 Max 8 jets, or variants, over the past three days.

The bans come after Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, which resulted in the deaths of 157 people near Addis Ababa.

Trump announced the decision while speaking with reporters at a border-security event.

The president’s decision comes after earlier Wednesday, Canada said it was banning the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft from its airspace, said Transport Minister Marc Garneau. That decision was made after examining satellite tracking data that is collected when certain aircraft take off and which tracks direction and the vertical profile of the plane as well as any fluctuations, the minister said at a news conference.

Read : U.S., Canada keep 737 Max 8 in the air, and that’s about the only good news for Boeing

Before Trump’s executive order, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration vouched for the safety of the 737 Max plane as American authorities, Boeing and Ethiopian investigators probed the crash.

On Tuesday, Australian officials said that “in light of the two recent fatal accidents, the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations was in the best interests of safety.” No Australian airline operates the plane, but two global carriers operate 737 Max planes in Australia, the country’s civil aviation regulator said.

Malaysia said it would ban 737 Max flights from entering and leaving the country, and Singapore said it was banning all 737 Max jets, while the U.K.’s ban is specific to the 737 Max 8 jets.

Norwegian Air said it would ground its Boeing 737 Max Fleet, according to reports:

France’s Aviation Authority said it would ban 737 Max jets from its airspace, while reports also indicated that Ireland and Iceland intended on banning that model aircraft.

According to the Associated Press, Germany’s transport ministry said it is closing its airspace to 737 Max 8s, while Oman said it was “temporarily suspending” all flights by 737 Max jets, becoming the first nation in the Arabian Peninsula to ground the Boeing model.

Countries grounding Boeing 737 Max planes What is prohibited
1) Australia Boeing 737 Max
2) Malaysia Banning flights of 737 Max aircraft into and out of country
3) United Kingdom 737 Max 8
4) Norwegian Air Boeing 737 Max fleet
5) France (France’s Aviation Authority) Bans 737 Max jets
6) Germany Closing airspace to 737 Max
7) Oman Suspends temporarily 737 Max jets
8) Ireland (Irish Aviation Authority) Bans all variants of 737 Max planes
9) Iceland 737 Max 8
10) Singapore 737 Max 8
11) Turkish Airlines Grounds all Boeing 737 Max aircraft until further notice (AP)
12) Italy (Italy’s Aviation Authority) Bans commercial flights of 737 Max 8
13) Netherlands 737 Max 8
14) Europe’s EASA Suspends all 737 Max operations in Europe
15) China Bans 737 Max 8
16) India 737 Max 8
17) United Arab Emirates 737 Max 8 ban
18) Kuwait 737 Max 8 ban
19) South Korea 737 Max 8
20) Mexico 737 Max 8
21) Canada Restricts 737 Max 8 and 9
22) Ukraine Restricts 737 Max 8 and 9
23) U.S. Restricts 737 Max 8 and 9

China was among the first to ban the 737 Max on Monday.

The groundings by foreign regulators, which typically follow FAA safety determinations for American-built jets, has idled more than 50% of the 737 Max fleet around the world. Most of those are MAX 8s, the version involved in the Ethiopia crash.


Reuters
FILE PHOTO: Boeing employees are pictured in front of a 737 MAX 8 produced for Southwest Airlines as Boeing celebrates the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Boeing has delivered more than 370 Max planes to 47 customers, including leasing firms that place the jets with airlines around the world. U.S. carriers, sticking by the FAA guidance.

The Ethiopian crash came about four months after a Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia, fueling broader concerns about the safety of those aircraft. However, the specific cause, or causes, of the crashes hadn’t been determined.

Airline 737 Max jets Total fleet count 737 Max jets as % of capacity in 2018
WestJet 11 177 5.8%
Air Canada 18 391 3.7%
Southwest Airlines 31 750 3.4%
American Airlines 20 1,551 0.9%
United Continental 9 1,329 0.4%
Copa Airlines 4 105 N/A
Alaska Air 0 330 0.0%
Diio Mi, Cowen & Co., company reports

The FAA had said Monday it had no plan to ground the jet, but the slate of groundings may put pressure on the agency.

“This investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions,” the FAA said.

Shares of Boeing were off by about 0.1% Wednesday intraday, and has shed 11.2% of its value over the past three sessions.

Still, the aviation and defense giant’s stock, which is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.95% , has risen about 16.5% in 2019, outperforming the broader market. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.39% , for example, has gained 12.3% since the beginning of the year, while the Dow has climbed by about 10.2% in the year’s first three months.

With reporting by the Wall Street Journal

/zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 344.00
-25.06 -6.79%
Volume: 13.57M
Oct. 18, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
40.28
Dividend Yield
2.39%
Market Cap
$193.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$660,961
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
26,770.20
-255.68 -0.95%
Volume: 293.61M
Oct. 18, 2019 5:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
2,986.20
-11.75 -0.39%
Volume: 1.99B
Oct. 18, 2019 5:08p
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Mark DeCambre is MarketWatch's markets editor. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @mdecambre.

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