Boeing: Europe and India join wave of countries grounding the 737 Max

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"Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone", Muilenburg said.

Speaking about the increased scrutiny and grief that families of the victims are going through, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said, "Our hearts are heavy".

Chinese airlines made up about 20 percent of 737 Max deliveries worldwide through January, according to Boeing's website.

Investigators looking into the Ethiopian Airlines received data from the aircraft's flight recorders, downloaded by experts in France, earlier this week.

Muilenburg added company representatives are supporting the investigating into last week's Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians.

- Boeing maintains its new, fuel-efficient jets are safe, but supported the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decision to ground them.

The 737 Max range, Boeing's new flagship plane created to be a mainstay for decades to come, has been grounded by authorities across the globe after an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed on 10 March, killing 157 people.

Concerns have been raised regarding apparent similarities with a Lion Air flight involving the same aircraft that plunged into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff on October 29, killing all 189 passengers and crew.

The FAA finds itself in the hot seat, especially over its decision to certify the 737 MAX without demanding additional training.

The world's biggest plane maker will "soon" upgrade a software and related pilot training programme it has developed in the wake of Indonesia's Lion Air crash in October, Mr Muilenburg said on Monday, in a letter addressed to airlines, passengers and the aviation community. The plane crashed within minutes.

In recent years, the FAA has shifted more authority over the approval of new aircraft to the manufacturer itself, even allowing Boeing to choose numerous personnel who oversee tests and vouch for safety.

This meant that the system could repeatedly push the nose of the plane down.

The Transportation Department's FAA regulates Chicago-based Boeing and is responsible for certifying that planes can fly safely.

That was the same system used by a Lion Air 737 Max which crashed off the coast of Indonesia a year ago. No one should have to book a flight wondering what may happen during or after takeoff.

It was only days later that US President Donald Trump announced the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

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