United States grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8

Farnborough, UK - July 16, 2018: Boeing 737 MAX on a steep angled landing descent to Farnborough Airport, UK
Photo credit: Getty

President Donald Trump has issued an emergency order grounding all 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 from US airspace.

"Pilots have been notified, airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with this. The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern," Trump said.

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had previously been hesistant to ground the aircraft, Trump said it was now in agreement with Boeing to halt the planes.

On Wednesday, New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority suspended the aircraft from flying to or from New Zealand. It came after several European nations, such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany, also suspended the planes.

One-hundred and fifty-seven people died after one of the aircraft crashed after taking off from Ethiopia. The incident has been compared to the Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crash off the coast of Indonesia in October last year, which killed all 189 people on-board.

The FAA's initial decision not to ground the planes surprised some aviation experts, such as former US Department of Transport Inspector General Mary Schiavo, who told The AM Show on Wednesday that the aircraft should be grounded worldwide.

"That is a very strange position to me as the US federal aviation administration already put out guidance that ordered Boeing to make the changes to the plane by April and that they could crash, and yet they want more guidance before they take any other action. I don't understand that," she said at the time.