BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several Southwest Airlines’ 737 Max aircraft sat grounded on the tarmac at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Thursday, one day after the FAA became one of the last agencies in the world to order the planes to stop flying amid safety concerns.
There were several cancellations, but Southwest — BWI’s largest carrier — said there will be no change fees for impacted flights rescheduled within 14 days and between the same cities.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Southwest said the Max 8 planes only make up five percent of its fleet.
CEO Greg Kelly spoke in a video his company produced and stressed Southwest’s trust in Boeing.
U.S. investigators are now in France to assist with the downloading and analysis of flight recorders from the Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed Sunday in Ethiopia.
That follows a deadly Lion Air crash with the same type of plane five months ago.
Baltimore-area aviation expert and attorney Keith Franz said investigators will be looking at any similarities between the crashes — and some answers should be available within 48 hours of the examination.
The FAA said the decision to ground the planes Wednesday was based on new information about the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people.
The President said he hoped the “grounding would be for a short period of time. The biggest thing is they have to find out what it is.”
Some lawmakers want hearings into the matter and the government’s response.
Boeing confirmed to CBS News Thursday it’s pausing deliveries of 737 Max model planes to customers.
Some pilots said they were frustrated about information Boeing provided them about the 737 Max.
“Information was withheld from our manual for whatever reason. It was information that was of critical importance to us,” said Capt. Dennis Tajer, who has experience helming the 737 Max aircraft and represents some American Airlines pilots.