For three days, the rest of the world had gradually shut the jets out of their air space. In a climate of rapidly rising anxiety, America was almost alone in keeping them in the air.
Then Wednesday, Canadian officials talked ominously about new information. There were similarities between the Max 8 crash in Indonesia and the Max 8 crash in Ethiopia. That meant there's a problem with the plane. And that meant all of them had to be grounded, and the president acted quickly.
He was acting in the public interest and in Boeing’s interest, too! You can't risk another accident.
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Make no mistake, the president's shutdown was necessary. But it was a big blow to Boeing, one of America’s most prestigious companies. Its future depends on these jets. It has orders for 4,000 of them! The question now is, will airlines take delivery when they can't fly them?
Don't expect a quick fix. The black box in the Ethiopia crash was damaged and is now being examined with special equipment in Paris. It will be weeks, perhaps months, before the results are in. It’s hard to see Boeing’s Max jets back in full service anytime soon. Not good for Boeing.
But the president acted quickly and decisively. It was the right thing to do.