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US gives Boeing some respite as it refuses to suspend 737 MAX 8 flights

None of the data received from other aviation authorities would warrant it taking such action, the FAA said

Boeing
Still allowed to take off in the US

US authorities have said there is “no basis” for grounding Boeing Co’s (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX 8 aircraft despite many other countries banning the plane from their airspace.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), which regulates aircraft in the US said in a statement on Tuesday evening, that the aircraft had shown “no systemic performance issues” that could justify keeping it out of the skies.

READ: TUI confirms UK decision to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft following crashes

None of the data it had received from other aviation authorities would warrant it taking such action, the FAA added.

Britain grounded the aircraft on Tuesday, joining China, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and India on the list of countries that have banned the plane’s use after a crash in Ethiopia on Sunday killed everyone on board.

The accident occurred less than five months after another fatal crash involving the MAX 8 occurred in Indonesia, prompting concerns over the safety of the new aircraft model.

The Civil Aviation Authority said previously that it had grounded the aircraft “as a precautionary measure”.

While the causes of the two accidents have not yet been confirmed, there is speculation that it may be due to a fault in the stability computer that helps keep the plane in the air.

The accidents have hit Boeing’s share price hard over the week, with the stock having fallen around 12.6% to US$368.6 since Monday.

The UK’s decision to ground the aircraft has also caused a headache for travel operators such as TUI AG (LON:TUI), which has around 15 MAX 8s and was forced to switch out the aircraft for others in its fleet to maintain its flight schedule, although to date it has yet to make any cancellations.

The grounding of the MAX 8 could also cause trouble for airlines that have ordered the aircraft and its variants in large numbers.

One is budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA), which currently has around 110 orders for the MAX 200, a high-capacity version of the MAX 8, with options on 100 more to help grow its fleet to 585 by 2024 from its current size of 400.

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