Pitt-Greenville Airport passengers react to Boeing 737 Max grounding

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Passengers flying in and out of one Eastern Carolina Airport are reacting to a nationwide flight ban on an airplane model involved in two deadly plane crashes in the last six months.

The Federal Aviation Administration's move to ban flights of the 737 Max Eight and Nine came hours after Canada grounded the aircraft.

"Just within the last day they started doing the groundings at different airports and in different countries," said Jeff Hoppenstein on his way back to Texas after a business trip in Greenville.

The FAA grounded Boeing 737 Max planes three days after an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed. Another 737 Max also crashed in the Java Sea in October. The agency's order came after new information from the Ethiopian Airlines wreckage showed similarities with the October crash.

"I heard the story of the flights that crashed before I got on the plane to come here," said Eric Speer flying out of Pitt-Greenville Airport alongside Hoppenstein.

President Trump made the announcement after many nations including Canada and China barred the 737 Max Eight from their airspace.

Those jets don't fly through PGV Airport, but they do fly through Charlotte Douglas International Airport which is a hub for American Airlines.

PGV's Executive Director Bill Hopper says American Airlines has 24 Max Eights and the airline is working with passengers who may be affected while flights are grounded.

"It happens very rarely however it's precaution that you need to make sure to keep passengers safe, " said Hopper.

Jeff Hoppenstein and Eric Speer who fly frequently for their company, Club Systems, say their travel plans from Greenville to Texas aren't impacted by the grounding Wednesday but they worry what the long term effects could be.

"There's so many planes and if that starts to cause issues in the ability to get timely flights that could be an issue," said Hoppenstein.

Max jets are grounded as the investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash continues.

Boeing says it still has full confidence in the safety of they 737 Max but recommended the FAA temporarily ground the flights out of an abundance of caution.