Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg said Wednesday that he supports the US decision to ground the company’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft after the latest deadly crash but continues to have “full confidence” in the safety of the plane.
He said he recommended to the Federal Aviation Administration that the global fleet should be suspended “out of an abundance of caution.”
The company continues its efforts “to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
Shares in US aviation giant Boeing fell precipitously on Wednesday, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower moments after President Donald Trump announced the grounding of top-selling aircraft.
It was an erratic day as Boeing shares recovered early in the session, but lost nearly three per cent after Trump’s announcement, before regaining some ground.
It was down 1.2 per cent just after 1900 GMT at $371.20.
The stock is now down more than 12 per cent since before Sunday’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight, and wiping billions off the company’s market value.
The benchmark Dow, which is heavily weighted to Boeing’s shares, fell about 100 points, but then bounced back to show a 0.3 percent gain.
The broader S&P 500 held on to earlier winnings, putting it up 0.7 per cent at 2,811.89 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was even higher at 7,651.91.
Trump’s announcement came hours after a similar decision by Canadian authorities and made the United States among the last nations in the world to take action to ban the planes.
Sunday’s crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 was the second in less than five months for the 737 MAX 8, bearing eerie similarities to October’s fatal Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
Anonymous reports by US pilots also showed incidents in which flight systems suddenly and inexplicably caused the aircraft to pitch downward.