President Donald Trump's decision to ground all of Boeing's 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 Wednesday, a move that was followed by a sharp reversal on previous statements on the plane's safety by the Federal Aviation Administration, was broadly supportive for both the planemaker and domestic carriers in late trading on Wall Street.
Trump said the entire MAX 8 and MAX 9 fleet would be grounded "with immediate effect", based on what he said was "new information" from the ongoing investigation into Sunday's deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 from Addis Ababa, which killed all 157 passengers on board heading for the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Below is a round-up of the various statements from Boeing, domestic US air carriers and the FAA.
Boeing shares closed 0.46% higher Wednesday, snapping a two-day decline that hived nearly $30 billion from its market value, to end the session at $377.14 each.
"On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents," said CEO Dennis Muilenburg. "We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be."
"There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again," he added.
United said Wednesday it supports both the President and the FAA's decisions, noting that around 40 of its domestic U.S. flights use the 737 Max.
United shares closed 1.7% higher on the session Wednesday, trimming their week-to-date decline to around 1.4%.
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and employees. As we have said since Sunday, we have been in close contact with investigators as well as Boeing to share data and fully cooperate with regulatory authorities," United said. "We will comply with the FAA's order and will ground our 14 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. We will remain in close contact with authorities as their investigation continues."
"Since Sunday, we have been working diligently on contingency plans to prepare our fleet to minimize the impact to customers," the statement added. "Our Boeing 737 MAX aircraft account for roughly 40 flights a day and through a combination of spare aircraft and rebooking customers, we do not anticipate a significant operational impact as a result of this order. We will continue to work with our customers to help minimize any disruption to their travel plans."
American said it has 24 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet, with an average of 85 flights each day of the carriers 6,700 daily departures, and said it is complying with the FAA directive.
American Airlines shares jumped 2.98% to end the Wednesday session at $31.84 each are are essentially flat for the week.
"Earlier today, the Federal Aviation Administration informed us based on new information, they are grounding the United States Boeing 737 MAX fleet out of an abundance of caution. American Airlines has 24 aircraft affected by this directive," American said. "We appreciate the FAA's partnership, and will continue to work closely with them, the Department of Transportation, National Transportation Safety Board and other regulatory authorities, as well as our aircraft and engine manufacturers. Our teams will be working to rebook customers as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience."
Southwest's fleet includes around 750 of Boeing's 737 line, including 34 of its controversial MAX 8 planes, which the carrier said accounts for less than five percent of its daily flights.
Southwest shares edged 0.42% higher by the close of trading Wednesday, but are down more than 2.2% for the week.
"We have been in constant contact with the FAA and Boeing since Ethiopian Airlines' accident last Sunday. While we remain confident in the MAX 8 after completing more than 88,000 flight hours accrued over 41,000 flights, we support the actions of the FAA and other regulatory agencies and governments across the globe that have asked for further review of the data - including information from the flight data recorder - related to the recent accident involving the MAX 8," the carrier said. "The Safety of our Customers and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and today's action reflects the commitment to supporting the current investigations and regulatory concerns."
"Our goal is to operate our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our Customers' expectations during the busy spring travel season. Additionally, to support our Customers, Southwest is offering flexible rebooking policies," the company added. "Any Customer booked on a cancelled MAX 8 flight can rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs. A Travel Advisory with additional information for Customers will be posted on Southwest.com."
"The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today," the agency said. "This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision."
"The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft's flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders," the agency added. "An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate."