Boeing 737 Max 8 jets may be grounded across the globe, but the FAA says U.S. carriers will not follow other countries banning or suspending the aircraft. According to one aviation expert, it’s because the new fleet is safe.
“There’s 22,000 airplanes flying in the world — there’s only 300 of these,” said Boyd Group International President Mike Boyd to FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. “In the United States with the three airlines that operate Max category airplanes – it’s safe — I guarantee that.”
An Ethiopian Airlines flight, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed six minutes after taking off Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board.
It is not immediately clear what caused the crash of the latest generation of the Boeing 737s, but the pilot of the plane reported that he was having flight-control issues and wanted to return to the airport, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It's also the same model flown by Lion Air, which crashed off the coast of Indonesia last October, killing all 189 on board. After the Lion Air crash there was speculation that new safety instructions needed to be passed on to the pilots about changes made to the jet.
Unlike the U.S., the flying hours for international pilots are often more lenient. In Boyd’s opinion there is a major safety problem with the airlines, not necessarily the plane. While U.S. carriers have already passed on the new safety instructions to their pilots, Boyd said, it's unclear whether other carriers in other countries followed suit.
“When you look at what has happened in the U.S., we had records for U.S. carriers – they are safe. But places like Ethiopia — to have a student pilot as co-pilot, and that’s what they had, that's outrageous [and] Lion Air -- they [have] a track record Al Capone wouldn't want to mess with in terms of safety,” he said. “So let’s not compare Southwest Airlines, which operates these, to these foreign carriers that may not be anywhere nearly as good.”