New York — The US Federal Aviation Administration has decided to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes operated by US carriers or flying over its territory, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
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The move follows the grounding of the same jets by Canada earlier in the day. The two countries had been the sole holdouts worldwide in halting flights by 737 Maxes following the Sunday crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, and the crash in October of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, into
the Java Sea, killing all 189 on board.
US jet fuel market sources said the news of the US' grounding of the planes came too late Wednesday to affect the day's jet fuel prices, which had moved higher due to stocks falling to an eight-week low.
A trader, referring to the 737 Maxes, said while there are not "a ton of planes, it's the future orders that should show impact."
According to a UBS report, the current global 737 Max fleet is 350 planes, with a backlog of 4,661 planes estimated for 2019 as of January. According to the Air Transport Action Group, there were 31,717 commercial aircraft in service in 2017.
The FAA, as reported by CNBC, puts the global Boeing Max fleet slightly higher, at 370 planes, with 74 flown by US airlines, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
"I guess other planes will fly," one distillates broker said.
Another trader, however, said the grounding will "for sure kill some demand."