American Airlines, the largest carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, grounded its small fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets after an order from the Federal Aviation Administration.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) March 13, 2019
The order grounded the jets once they reached their destinations.
Two recent fatal crashes, the latest in Ethiopia, led to the decision.
The grounding also affected Southwest Airlines, which operates a large number of flights from Baltimore-Washington International Airport and a more limited schedule from Philadephia.
United Airlines also operates a larger version of the Max that was also grounded.
Southwest has also been dealing with a dispute with its mechanics’ union, with the carrier claiming a possible slowdown by those workers is hurting the carrier.
Our statement regarding the Boeing 737 MAX 8: pic.twitter.com/sjoCGwffby
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) March 13, 2019
The new jets account for a small percentage of the total fleets of the three giant airlines.
American and Southwest expressed confidence in the overall safety of the jets, but had been getting requests from passengers to be allowed to use other aircraft.
Southwest noted that its Max jets had flown 88,000 hours without incident.
Finding a cause for the crashes is a top priority for Boeing and the Trump administration. The company is one of the nation’s largest exporters and has orders on the books for thousands of the advanced jets.