Boeing has delayed plans to unveil its huge new 777X widebody passenger jet this week following the deadly crash of one of the company's aircraft in Ethiopia that killed 157 passengers.
Boeing had scheduled a daylong celebration this Wednesday, March 13th, in Seattle, as the company was set to roll out its first 777X test aircraft from the company's Everett factory after six years of work.
Boeing spokesman, Paul Bergman, said in a statement that now is not the time to celebrate the new plane after Sunday's deadly crash. He didn’t say when the event is now likely to take place but added that there are no other changes to the aircraft’s schedule.
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on Sunday morning, just minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board were killed. The disaster happened less than five months after another 737 MAX 8 went down off the coast of Indonesia in late October, killing 189 people.
The Ethiopian Airlines tragedy was the second Boeing 737 Max 8 crash since late October. The FAA certified the 737 Max in March 2017. Its first delivery was in May 2017.
In late October, a Lion Air 737 Max 8 from Indonesia crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew onboard. Both tragedies remain under investigation with no final causes known.
Meanwhile, both China and Indonesia have decided to ground their 737 Max 8 jets made by the American aerospace giant in the wake of the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash.
China's civil aviation administration reportedly adopted that measure due to the similarities between Sunday's crash - which occurred shortly after takeoff - and that in Indonesia five months ago, when a Lion Air jet fell into the sea 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.
Over 300 Boeing 737-MAX planes were currently operational and orders had been placed for another 5,000, mostly of the MAX 8 variant.