Boeing 737 Max 8 planes grounded after Ethiopian crash
The flight recorders for Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 have arrived in Paris, where they will be analyzed for potential clues into Sunday's plane crash.
A French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety spokesman said that the two black boxes would contain flight parameters as well as conversations in the cockpit.
He said there were less than a dozen laboratories around the world capable of reading the devices.
"When the black boxes have not (been damaged), the tapes or hard disks are intact, the data is easily recoverable. However, it also happens that entire passages of the recording are more or less damaged," he said, adding that the analysis could take days.
Ethiopia had requested France's assistance investigating the material as their country didn't have the equipment necessary.
In the past 24 hours, international concern over the possible dangers of Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft has only continued to grow.
US President Donald Trump announced Wednesday afternoon he would immediately ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft, amid concerns over their involvement in two major plane crashes less than six months apart.
Boeing issued a statement saying they would recommend the temporary global suspension of the entire 737 Max fleet. Fifty countries have now grounded or banned the planes inside their airspace.
It has only been four days since the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed 157 people and sparked the growing backlash.
On Thursday morning, the plane's black box is expected to arrive in Paris for analysis, potentially providing answers to victims' families still mourning their loved ones.
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Boeing announced on Wednesday it would be recommending the grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes globally "out of an abundance of caution."
But the move hasn't stopped countries taking matters into their own hands, with Mexico, Panama and Thailand all subsequently announcing they would be suspending Boeing 737 Max jets temporarily.
In total, 50 countries have now grounded or banned the controversial Max 8 models which were involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday.
Following the announcement by US President Donald Trump that Boeing's 737 Max planes would be grounded across the country, the aerospace company's stock value plunged.
Shares of Boeing immediately fell 3% after Trump’s announcement. They later recovered to close slightly higher by the end of the day.
But since the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, Boeing’s stock has lost more than 10% of its value, wiping out more than $25 billion of the company’s market value.
The black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 are due to arrive in Paris for analysis on Thursday morning, a vital clue into what caused the Sunday crash which killed 157 people.
The French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) will conduct the investigation into the recorders but a spokesman for the bureau said they wouldn't be announcing the results.
"Only the Ethiopian authorities will report on the progress of the investigation. There will be no press conference," a BEA spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told CNN’s Richard Quest on Tuesday that Ethiopia did not have the necessary equipment to perform analysis tasks on its own and would work alongside external analysts.
Mexico became the 50th country to take action against Boeing 737 Max 8 planes on Wednesday evening, following the United States decision earlier in the day to suspend the planes' operation inside the country.
The General Directorate of Civil Aviation said they were banned until further notice to "guarantee the safety and confidence" of aircraft flying in Mexican airspace.
Since China's decision to ground its Boeing Max jets on Monday, more and more countries around the world have banned the use of Boeing 737 Max planes inside their airspace.
South Korea's largest airline, Korean Air, announced Thursday it would be putting on hold plans to introduce Boeing 737 Max 8s into their fleet.
"Korean Air had originally scheduled to introduce the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts to its (air) routes from May," the statement said. Instead, the airline will use other planes in their place.
It is just another reminder of the economic cost of the worldwide ban to Boeing.
Wall Street firms Melius Research and Jefferies estimate a three-month grounding could cost the US aerospace company up to $5 billion.
China was the first country in the world to ground their fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes on Monday, which set off a chain reaction around the world.
In an editorial Wednesday, state-run tabloid Global Times told Boeing it had to take "responsibility" for the crisis and reprimanded the US government for "protecting" them.
"Such protection of a company seems incredible to Chinese, yet in US society it seems to make sense thanks to the US political system," the editorial said.
It's a bold statement which might strike some observers as ironic given the Chinese government's unequivocal statements in recent months supporting tech giant Huawei during its legal troubles with the US.
The article also praised Boeing as a "giant in the aerospace industry" but added it had to be "modest and cautious as any startup company" given the recent news.
Another country has joined the international pushback against Boeing and its 737 Max 8 aircraft, within hours of the US announcement.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced all operations of Max 8 and Max 9 planes would be temporarily suspended until midnight on March 20.
"Currently, there is no clear indication for the actual cause of accidents in Indonesia & Ethiopia, and no evident risk management measures or any mechanism to ensure the safety of 737 Max 9 aircraft from the aircraft manufacturer," the statement said.
More than 40 countries have now suspended operations of the planes following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.