US grounding of Boeing 737 Max fleet was ‘embarrassing,’ former Northwest Airlines executive

Former Northwest Airlines executive Jay Ratliff criticized the Federal Aviation Administration’s timing behind the decision to ground the Boeing 737 Max jets.

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“We were the last country on the planet to ground that airplane,” he told FOX Business’ Connell McShane on Monday. “It was embarrassing that the United States, which normally leads the pack in safety, was actually on the tail end of it. And it was really unfortunate.”

On March 13, the FAA grounded the 737 Max jets, three days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people and one day after the agency announced confidence in the jets.

The FAA hit Boeing with a new safety directive as the CEO Dennis Muilenburg tells shareholders the company is committed to going above and beyond with training. The FAA said it will impose new safety measures on Boeing’s 737 Max jets. The new airworthiness directive will take effect June 3.


Ratliff said there’s no question Boeing tried to rush the 737 Max into production. “The buck has to stop at the Federal Aviation Administration for their inability really to stay on top of it, and Boeing having too much control over that certification process. Fortunately we’re going to see some needed changes where we don’t have anything like this occur again.”