Update: President Donald Trump grounded the planes this afternoon.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader believes Boeing should ground its fleet of 737 Max 8 airplanes.
The message comes as the world struggles to understand what happened to Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed Sunday, March 10, killing 157. The accident came just four months after the crash of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 in October—also a 737 Max 8.
In an open letter to Boeing executives published Wednesday, Nader said that the airplane manufacturer was behaving as a company "used to having its way" and not in the interests of American lives.
"Stop digging in your heels," Nader wrote. "Tell the airlines to stop digging in their heels."
In response to the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, most countries across the world grounded the planes. The European Union shut down flights by the plane, taking down a fleet that makes up two thirds of the total number of planes in use. The U.S. stands almost alone in its continued use of the 737 Max 8.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in a statement, said it saw no evidence the planes were unsafe.
"The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX," the agency said. "Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft."
The calls for the U.S. to ground the flights are getting louder, and not just from Nader.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau is grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes in Canada over safety concerns arising from the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed all on board, including 18 Canadians. https://t.co/o1v6amqvSM pic.twitter.com/DBx2YSsHfL— The Canadian Press (@CdnPress) March 13, 2019
Action on the planes should be taken out of an "abundance of caution," said the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO.
We’re calling on the FAA to temporarily ground the 737 MAX fleet in the US out of an abundance of caution in the wake of a second fatal accident involving the 737 MAX 8, & until FAA-identified fixes to the plane can be installed, communicated, & confirmed. https://t.co/pYzvFEgej1 pic.twitter.com/dTApqqlkls— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) March 12, 2019
If Boeing and the government don't take action, said actress Nicole Yvette-Brown, then just don't fly.
Since Boeing and your president don't care about your safety, I suggest that if you fly you make sure you are not on a #Boeing737Max. Every flight lists the airplane on that route. I suggest you do your research and avoid that plane. I’m going to. BTW @Delta doesn’t fly them. https://t.co/6SXAvzcrEj— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 12, 2019
Nader, in his concluding remarks, tried to appeal to the corporation's baser, profit-oriented instincts.
"Once an aircraft starts to carry a stigma in the minds of passengers, time is of the essence," said Nader. "You know all about branding's pluses and minuses."
"It is better to act now before being forced to act, whether by Congress, the FAA, a prosecution, or another aircraft disaster that could have been avoided."