Southwest Airlines 737 Max 8

Crews removed luggage from a Southwest Airlines 737 Max 8 jet at Charleston International on Wednesday shortly after the FAA grounded the entire fleet. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff 

A Southwest Airlines plane that was grounded while preparing to depart Charleston International on Wednesday has been flown to central Florida.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 was among more than 300 jets that the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily took out of service indefinitely following two fatal crashes overseas in the past five months.

A Southwest crew took off in the aircraft from North Charleston around 2:50 a.m. early Thursday and landed in Orlando International Airport less than an hour later, according to the website FlightAware

"The FAA granted airlines permission to ferry aircraft back to maintenance locations where the aircraft can be properly stored," the Dallas-based carrier said Thursday. "No passengers were on the flights."

Southwest had been using the Max 8 on a daily flight between Charleston and Dallas.

More than 40 countries have grounded the Boeing planes or refused to let them into their airspace.

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The FAA issued its emergency order grounding the Max 8 and the slightly larger Max 9 about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, saying new satellite data and evidence showed the movements of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed and killed 157 people on Sunday were similar to those of a doomed Lion Air flight in October.

Flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines jet arrived in France for analysis Thursday. Firm answers about what caused the crash could take months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.