The US stood alone in its refusal to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8, but President Trump has now taken action. "Those planes are grounded effective immediately," he told reporters at the White House Wednesday, explaining that he had signed an order to ground the planes. "The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern." That means no nations are left flying the planes, USA Today reports. Earlier Wednesday, Canada's transport minister announced the country was closing its airspace to the aircraft, which has been involved in two major fatal crashes in less than five months: Indonesia's Lion Air crash in October and Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash. Both the US and Canadian bans also extend to the larger Max 9, CNN reports; Trump said, per CNN, that any Max 8 or 9 planes currently in the air would be ordered to land.
The two crashes have not been officially linked, but when announcing Canada's ban Marc Garneau referenced newly available satellite data of the planes' vertical paths that suggests similarities between the two, the New York Times reports. Though he cautioned that the "new information is not conclusive," Garneau said officials and experts had looked at the data from both flights and found similarities that "exceed a certain threshold in our minds with respect to the possible cause of what happened in Ethiopia. This is not conclusive, but it is something that points possibly in that direction, and at this point we feel that threshold has been crossed." (Some have theorized the plane's anti-stall system could be to blame.)