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US Refuses To Ground Boeing 737 Max As More Countries Ban The Model


As the number of countries banning Boeing 737 Max 8 continues to rise after Sunday's deadly crash of a plane of this model, US aviation authorities insists not to suspend the suspected aircraft despite mounting pressure from lawmakers and workers' unions.

Ethiopian Airlines grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet after 157 people on board its Kenya-bound flight were killed when the aircraft crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa.

Despite Boeing's assurances that the plane is safe and reliable, the European Union and many other countries either grounded the best-selling plane or banned it from their airspace as they await the investigation into the crash.

Brazil, Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Australia were the first to ban the aircraft from their air space.

New Zealand's aviation watchdog said on Wednesday it was imposing temporary suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from its airspace after consultation with other regulators.

India was the latest country to join counterparts worldwide in closing its airspace to the accident-prone aircraft. Indian aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), decided to ground all 737 Max 8 aircraft used by state-run Indian airlines, by 4 pm local time Wednesday.

India's private carrier SpiceJet, which has a dozen such aircraft in its fleet, followed suit.

Ethiopian Airlines flight was the second aircraft to have crashed and caused mass casualties within five months.

All 189 people on board an Indonesia Lion Air flight were killed after the plane of the same Boeing model crashed after take off from Jakarta on October 29.

While these accidents raised concern among aviation authorities across the world, the United States, the country where the Boeing aircraft is manufactured, says there is "no basis" for grounding Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a review showed that there is no systemic performance issues with the model.

"In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," a statement from Acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said.

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