'No basis' to ground Boeing 737 MAX: US regulator

File: More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded worldwide after 346 people died in two crashes.

File: More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded worldwide after 346 people died in two crashes.

AFP

WASHINGTON - The US aviation regulator said that there is "no basis" for grounding Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft, one of which was involved in a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

"Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft," Federal Aviation Administration chief Daniel Elwell said in a statement.

"Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action."

A new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

READ: Ethiopia crash bodies will take days to release

That followed the October crash of a new Lion Air jet of the same model in Indonesia, which killed 189 people shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.

Despite Boeing's assurances that the plane is safe and reliable, the European Union, Britain and India joined China and other countries that either grounded the best-selling plane or banned it from their airspace as they await the investigation into the crash.

"In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," the FAA added.

Source
AFP