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US FAA stands by Boeing 737 MAX as India, New Zealand also ground jets


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US FAA stands by Boeing 737 MAX as India, New Zealand also ground jets

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration stood by its earlier decision to deem Boeing Co.'s fleet of 737 MAX jets as safe to fly amid an increasing list of countries ordering the suspension of operations of the said aircraft following a fatal crash of a passenger plane in Ethiopia on March 10.

India's civil aviation authority directed airlines to not fly any 737 MAX aircraft until "appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken" to ensure the planes' safe operations, joining a host of other Asian and European countries in grounding the said jet. Turkey has also suspended flights of 737 planes until further notice, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The civil aviation authorities of New Zealand and Fiji also temporarily grounded 737 MAX jets, while the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority barred such aircraft from entering the island's airspace, noting the similarity of the recent accident with the Lion Air crash of October 2018, which involved a 737 MAX 8 plane and killed 189 people on board.

Meanwhile, the U.S. FAA said its review of the available data surrounding the Ethiopia crash "shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft."

"Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action," the FAA also said.

Canada is also not grounding the aircraft, though it is ready to "act immediately" if new information warrants suspending flight of the Boeing jet, Reuters cited Transport Minister Marc Garneau as saying.

Boeing's shares have remained under pressure since a 737 MAX 8 passenger plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff March 10, killing all 157 people on board. Shares in the airplane manufacturer plunged 6.15% at market close March 12.