Boeing extends losses as more airlines ground jets
NEW YORK, March 13– Boeing shares continued to decline on Tuesday, sending the stock to plunge more than 11 percent this week, as more aviation regulators and air carriers around the globe banned the aerospace giant’s 737 Max jets after Sunday’s deadly crash in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, drawing renewed scrutiny of the plane after a 2018 crash of the same model in Indonesia claimed 189 lives.
A wave of aviation authorities and airlines on Tuesday joined in the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets. Europe’s aviation safety regulator issued a continent-wide ban on flights of the aircraft model following the similar actions by Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. China was among the first to ban the 737 Max on Monday.
Although it is too early to determine what caused Sunday’s deadly crash, there was growing concern about the safety of the 737 Max aircraft as the two crashes that occurred in half a year involved the new model of the 737 Max family that were delivered not long ago.
Boeing acknowledged the decision made by regulators but said Tuesday it has “full confidence in the safety of the MAX.”
“We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets,” the aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.
Boeing shares fell 6.15 percent on Tuesday following the sharp losses in the previous session to close at 375.41 U.S. dollars per piece. The stock booked a two-day decline of 11.15 percent.
Edward Jones, a financial services firm headquartered in the U.S. state of Missouri, lowered its rating of Boeing shares to hold from buy on Monday, saying the company’s second deadly crash of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the past five months may have a tangible effect on near-term earnings.
The 737 Max is among the Boeing’s most important aircraft types, which is recognized as a key part of Boeing’s effort to compete with rival Airbus.
Dozens of airlines now have one of Boeing’s 737 Max jets in their fleets. In the United States, American and Southwest fly the 737 Max 8 and each have more on order.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that it is not taking any actions against the Boeing 737 Max 8.
Flight attendants and ground crews in American and Southwest airlines urged the companies to take their Boeing 737 Max airplanes out of service until more is known about Sunday’s fatal crash.
Shares of Southwest Airlines declined 2.3 percent on Tuesday after declining about 0.3 percent in the previous session. The carrier said on Monday that it had 34 of Boeing 737 MAX 8s in its fleet of over 750 as of Dec. 31, 2018, and remains “confident in the safety and airworthiness” of its aircraft.
Shares of American Airlines closed 3.5 percent lower on Tuesday. The company said it still has confidence in the aircraft and their crews. – XINHUA