Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Chicago-based Boeing, reportedly asked President Trump on Tuesday morning not to ground Boeing 737 Max 8s operating throughout the country, following Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, according to the New York Times.
Early Tuesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation. -New York Times
The call between Muilenburg and Trump was confirmed by a Boeing spokesperson with Business Insider, but did not offer details on who requested the call or any other information. According to a quote by BI from the Times (which has subsequently been changed), Muilenburg only "reiterated our position that the Max is a safe aircraft."
Approximately 2/3 of the world's 737 Max 8 fleet have been grounded according to the Times - with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) the latest entity moving to ban the plane.
And now today: pic.twitter.com/gK7TnjFU1q— Michael McDonough (@M_McDonough) March 13, 2019
Several US senators have urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to follow suit in grounding the 737 Max 8, which is currently still considered safe to fly in the United States and Canada.
"I write to ask that all Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft be grounded until their safe use has been confirmed," wrote Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in a Monday letter to the FAA, adding "Continuing to fly an airplane that has been involved in two fatal crashes within just six months presents an unnecessary, potentially life-threatening risk to the traveling public."
Mitt Romney, who blows out his birthday candles one at a time, also chimed in on Tuesday, tweeting: "the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness."
Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 12, 2019
President Trump, meanwhile, suggested in a Tuesday tweet before the phone call with Muilenburg that some new planes are "too complex to fly."
Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019