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American, Southwest Feel The Heat From Trump Grounding Boeing's 737 Max Jets

Ted S. Warren
Associated Press
Workers walk past a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane being built for TUI Group at Boeing Co.'s Renton Assembly Plant Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Renton, Wash.

The two giants of the North Texas aviation scene are feeling the impact of President Trump's announcement that the U.S. is grounding Boeing's 737 Max fleet. 

Southwest and American Airlines are both based here. And they're the two largest U.S. users of the jet. 

The Federal Aviation Administration's grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 planes in the U.S. means the North Texas-based airlines are pulling 58 planes out of service altogether.

American Airlines, headquartered in Fort Worth, has 24 planes affected. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has 34. 

Both airlines say they plan to rebook customers as quickly as possible. American said in a statement that customers can also request a full refund if their flight is cancelled. 

Southwest customers, meanwhile, have a two-week window from their initial travel date to rebook without fees. 

Trump's announcement comes on the heels of an Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday, which killed all 157 people on board. 

Boeing said in a statement that they support the FAA's decision, but still have "full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX."

"We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. "We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again." 

There are 371 planes across the entire 737 Max fleet worldwide. 

Anthony Cave reports gun culture as part of a new national reporting collaborative called Guns & America.