With Wednesday’s U.S. decision to ground Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, only Brazil’s Gol Airline continues to fly the jet to Ecuador. On Wednesday night, a spokesman for President Lenin Moreno said the president has asked Gol to suspend use of the 737 MAX until investigations into recent crashes are concluded.
The 737 MAX has been involved in two recent crashes, one on Saturday in Ethiopia that killed 157 and another in Indonesia in October that killed 189.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the grounding of the aircraft until investigations into the recent crashes is concluded. “The immobilization of these airplanes will remain in effect until additional research is carried out on the crashes, including the analysis of information from the data recorders of and the voice recorders of the flight cabin of the aircraft,” he said.
Both the Ethiopia and Indonesia crashes occurred shortly after take-off, apparently related to the inability of pilots to control the aircraft. Investigators of the Indonesian accident believe that the crash was related to a flight software malfunction but say they are far from “determining a definitive cause.”
The 737 MAX aircraft went into service in 2017.