Trump says he hopes Boeing 737 Max planes aren’t grounded for long

on Mar14
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President Donald Trump meets with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Washington.

Evan Vucci | AP

President Donald Trump meets with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Washington.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said that he hopes Boeing’s 737 Max jets will only be grounded “for a short period of time.”

Trump’s remarks in the Oval Office came less than a day after the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all of those planes in the U.S., based on what it said was new evidence collected from two recent 737 Max jet crashes that killed hundreds.

“I hope it’s going to be for a short period of time,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House.

“The biggest thing is, they have to find out what it is. I’m not sure that they know, but I thought we had to do it, we had to take a cautionary route,” Trump said.

Trump echoed acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell, who told reporters on a call Wednesday that he hopes “all parties will work very hard to make this grounding as short as possible so that these airplanes can get back up in the sky.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said after an FAA briefing Thursday that the grounded planes will not be back in the air for at least “weeks” or until upgraded software has been sufficiently tested and installed in all of the Max 737 models.

The U.S. made the decision on Boeing’s 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes after several countries grounded the aircraft.

Trump is a vocal supporter of Boeing and its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, and continued to praise the American manufacturer Thursday.

“It’s a great company, it’s a truly great company, and hopefully they’ll figure it out very quickly,” Trump said. “It’s a big decision. It’s also one of our largest exporters, one of the truly great companies of the world. They have to figure it out fast. They know that. They’re under great pressure.”



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