American and Southwest Airlines, the biggest U.S. carriers with Max 8 models, are sticking by the jet, while Alaska Airlines does not have any of that model jet. The FAA said that "if we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action."
Most of the airlines flying Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 – the model that has crashed twice in the past six months, including Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster – are continuing to use the jet, including major U.S. airlines.
China and Indonesia, as well as a few airlines in other countries, have grounded their MAX 8 fleets, however. India’s air safety regulator said Monday it is ordering a review of the MAX.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Monday afternoon it plans to issue a “continued airworthiness notification” for the MAX jet. It is collecting data on the crash and has a team on the ground in Ethiopia along with the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency said. “If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” it said on Twitter.
The Renton-built 737 MAX is Boeing’s best-selling plane, and the company has been delivering the newer MAX 8 model since May 2017.
In October, a MAX 8 operated by Lion Air crashed in the Java Sea, killing 189 people on board. Then on Sunday, a MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. Both were new planes that crashed shortly after takeoff, though it’s not yet clear if there might be any link between the two crashes.
Airlines have ordered more than 5,000 of the MAX jets, but just 350 of those have been delivered, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. Not all of those are MAX 8 models; Boeing has several MAX types.
Southwest Airlines has 31 MAX planes delivered, American Airlines and GECAS have 22 and Air Canada has 20. Norwegian Air Shuttle has 18; China Southern Airlines has 16; Air China, Air Lease Corp, Flydubai and Lion Air all have 14 each; China Eastern Airlines has 13; and United Airlines and WestJet have 12 each.
SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines doesn’t have any operating now but has ordered 32 MAX jet models, although no MAX 8s.
Regulators in China and Indonesia have grounded their nations’ MAX 8 aircraft in the wake of Sunday’s crash.
The other airlines that have at least temporarily halted MAX 8 flights include Ethiopian Airlines, Cayman Airways, Aeromexico and Comair. In all, 24 airlines have grounded the aircraft model, mostly in China.
The two American airlines with the most MAX jets – Southwest and American airlines – issued statements to CNN saying they would continue to fly the aircraft.
“We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft,” the Southwest statement said. American said it has “full confidence in the aircraft.”
Other airlines continuing to stand behind the MAX 8 include Norwegian Airlines, TUI Aviation, Silk Air, Fiji Airways, Icelandair, Flydubai, WestJet, GOL Linhas Aereas.
Here’s a full list of which airlines have MAX jets in their fleet and which have them on order.
Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to MAX 8 jets on order for Southwest Airlines; the airline has ordered MAX jets of a different model.