Boeing’s stock fell sharply for a second straight day as more nations and airlines grounded the company’s 737 MAX 8 planes.
Shares of Boeing (BA) fell more than 11% over the past two days: The stock fell 6% Tuesday following a 5% drop on Monday.
The stock’s slide follows the tragic Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday that killed all 157 passengers and crew on board.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency announced Tuesday that it was suspending all Boeing 737 Max 8 flights in Europe as a “precautionary measure.” The EU joins China, Australia, the UK and several other nations in deciding to halt Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights. The United States has yet to do so.
The FAA said in a statement late Monday that is “collecting data and keeping in contact with international civil aviation authorities” as more information about the crash becomes available.
Boeing said that it has “full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.”
“We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets,” Boeing added.
The company also noted that the FAA “is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”
But Utah Senator Mitt Romney urged the FAA to follow the lead of other international agencies.
He wrote in a tweet Tuesday that “out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the [FAA] should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness.”
Senator Ted Cruz added in a tweet later Tuesday that “in light of the decisions of regulatory agencies across the world to ground the Model 737 Max, I believe it would be prudent for the United States likewise to temporarily ground 737 Max aircraft until the FAA confirms the safety of these aircraft & their passengers.”
And the influential magazine Consumer Reports also weighed in, saying Tuesday that major airlines that have Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in their fleets, including American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV), should ground the planes even if the FAA does not ask them to do so.
“If the airlines will not ground the planes, CR says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should,” the magazine said.
American said it would monitor the investigation of Sunday’s crash but it has “full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members.”
Southwest said, “We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of the MAX 8. We don’t have any changes planned to our MAX 8 operating plans.”
Wall Street is still backing Boeing as well. As of Tuesday afternoon, 19 of the 24 analysts that were following the company had it rated a buy. The consensus earnings estimates for Boeing for this quarter and the full year hadn’t changed in the past week either.