In all, U.S. airlines temporarily suspended the use of more than 65 Boeing 737 MAX jets, with 16 carriers.
- More trouble for a group of Boeing 737 MAX jets already in several airline fleets. Boeing says a new issue with some of them means they need to be grounded once again. Our Ken Molestina joins us with Boeing's statement, and whether or not this could put a hamper on summer travel. Ken?
KEN MOLESTINA: Yeah. You know a lot of people are asking about that. You'll recall, folks, the 737 MAX jets here in the US and in other countries-- they were grounded for about two years, following two deadly crashes overseas back in 2018 and 2019. The MAX jets received clearance to fly again just last November. Now comes this.
In a statement released today, Boeing says, quote, "Boeing has recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations. The recommendation is being made to allow for verification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system" Now, today we've learned three major US airlines have had to pull these planes from their fleets.
American Airlines tells us 17 of their MAX jets were taken out of service. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines says 30 of their 58 MAX jets are affected by this. And United reports 16 of theirs had to be grounded. The woes come at a time when the airline industry is still struggling to ramp up air travel during the pandemic. Both American and Southwest say while those planes have been grounded, they have other airplanes that they can swap out for as to not create too much of a disturbance. We still do not know how many MAX jets are affected by the grounding worldwide, and Boeing has not given any indication as to how long the fix might take, Brooke.