Shares of Dow component Boeing retreated more than 9 percent in Monday’s premarket, a day after a new Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board and marking the second fatal crash of the manufacturer’s best-selling aircraft in less than five months.
China’s civil aviation regulator on Monday told domestic airlines to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets, a move later echoed in Indonesia, a rare measure. Cayman Airways and Ethiopian Airlines said they, too, would take the planes out of service temporarily.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff for Nairobi from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday. In a notice posted on its website, China’s aviation regulator said the crash was similar to that of Lion Air Flight 610, another Boeing 737 MAX 8, which went down in the Java Sea in October, minutes after departing Jakarta.
Boeing shares have gained more than 31 percent this year, making the stock the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Investigators on Monday were looking for clues in what brought down Ethiopian Airlines’ 4-month-old plane. The so-called black boxes, which contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings were recovered, the airline said.
China’s aviation regulator in issuing its order to domestic airlines noted that the Ethiopian Airlines crash was similar to the Lion Air crash in October because it happened shortly after takeoff. Investigators, including a team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, have just begun their investigation and analysts warned it is too early to know the cause.
Boeing on Monday said it was in contact with customers and regulators and did not have a reason to give airlines new guidance on the planes.
“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved,” Boeing said in a statement. “The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”