March 13, 2019 / 1:18 AM / in a month

South American nations evaluating shutting airspace to Boeing 737 MAX: Telam news agency

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including a 737 MAX 8 aircraft bearing the logo of China Southern Airlines (3rd L), are parked at a Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 11, 2019. REUTERS/David Ryder

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina and other South American nations are evaluating closing their airspace to Boeing 737 MAX airplanes following two fatal crashes in five months involving that type of plane, Argentina’s state-run news agency Telam reported on Tuesday.

The announcement from Argentina aviation officials follows a wave of suspensions by the European Union, China and India, piling pressure on the United States to follow suit. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it would not ground Boeing Co 737 MAX planes.

“It is something that we are talking about as a possibility, but it is not imminent,” Tomas Insausti, head of Argentina´s Civil Aviation Authority, told Telam. “It’s being discussed among regional aviation authorities and it will be something we decide upon as a group, not individually.”

Insausti did not identify which South American countries were involved in the talks, according to the Telam report.

Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker, which has seen billions of dollars wiped off its market value since the crash, said it understood the countries’ actions but retained “full confidence” in the 737 MAX and had safety as its priority.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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