Feeling pressure to ground Boeing planes, US Transportation Secretary flies on 737 Max 8

With airlines and governments around the world shutting down 737 Max airplanes after a second deadly crash of the aircraft, U.S. Secretary of Transportation is not only resisting the calls to ground the plane, she even flew one of the planes back to Washington Tuesday afternoon.

Chao and her staff flew on a Southwest Airlines 737 Max 8 from Austin, Texas to Washington, D.C. just hours after the Transportation Secretary was emphatic in saying her department will ground Max planes if it‘s determined they are not safe to fly.

“The department and the FAA will not hesitate to take immediate and appropriate action,” Chao said.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. It came less than five months after a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 went down in Indonesia last October — none of the 157 people on board survived.