President Donald Trump put pressure on Boeing Thursday to fix the issues with its 737 MAX airliners, adding that he hopes the grounding of the jets is only “for a short period of time.”
While speaking to reporters during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Trump said his administration had to take a “cautionary route” by grounding the jets.
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“I hope it is for a short period of time,” Trump said of the grounding. “They have to find out what it is. They have to find out what it is. I’m not sure that they know.”
Trump and the Federal Aviation Administration lagged behind many other countries in grounding the planes, as they waited for evidence of a common flaw between Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia and the air disaster in Indonesia in October. But Trump reversed his position on Wednesday, preempting the FAA and appearing to surprise at least one airline.
On Thursday, Trump said the U.S. move to ground the plane was a proper precaution.
“I thought we had to do it. We had to take a cautionary route,” he said. “The grounding was a big thing.”
The president added that Boeing, one of the top manufacturers in the U.S., is a “great company” and hoped it would quickly figure out what is wrong with the aircraft. Boeing has registered more than 7,700 orders for the MAX from air carriers around the world.
“It’s a truly great company. Hopefully they’ll figure it out very quickly. It was a big decision, also one of our largest exporters,” he said. “One of our truly great companies of the world.”
“They have to figure it out fast. They know that. They are under great pressure,” the president concluded.