Mar 27, 2019: Ethiopian Airlines group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam has issued a condolence statement on the tragic crash of B737 MAX ET302 flight which occurred on March 10, and on continuing ties with Boeing in future.

He noted, “The heartbreak for the families of the passengers and crew who perished will be lasting. This has forever changed their lives, and we at Ethiopian Airlines will feel the pain forever. I pray that we all continue to find strength in the weeks and months ahead. In a nation that sometimes is saddled with negative stereotypes, accidents like this affect our sense of pride.”

The investigation of the accident is underway. “Many questions on the B737 MAX airplane remain without answers, and I pledge full and transparent cooperation to discover what went wrong. As it is well known in our global aviation industry, the differences training between the B737 NG and the B737 MAX recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called for computer-based training, but we went beyond that,” he stated.

The CEO has stated the airline believes in Boeing as they have been a partner of since many years. More than two-thirds of our fleet is Boeing. “We were the first African airline to fly the 767, 757, 777-200LR, and we were the second nation in the world, after Japan to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. Less than a month ago, we took delivery of yet another new two 737 cargo planes (a different version from the one that crashed). The plane that crashed was less than five months old. We resolve to work with Boeing and others to use this tragedy to make the skies safer for the world,” he mentioned.

After the Lion Air accident in October, Ethiopian pilots who fly the B737 Max 8 were fully trained on the service bulletin issued by Boeing and the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the US FAA. Among the seven full-flight simulators that they own and operate, two of them are for B737 NG and the B737 MAX.

He continued, “Immediately after the crash and owing to the similarity with the Lion Air Accident, we grounded our fleet of Max 8s. Within days, the plane had been grounded around the world. I fully support this. Until we have answers, putting one more life at risk is too much.

Started by an American airline company Trans World Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines first direct passenger service to the US began in June 1998, and today it flies direct to Africa from Washington, Newark, Chicago, and Los Angeles. This summer, it plans to begin flying from Houston. The airlines’ cargo flights connect in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York.

Responding to Ethiopian Airlines statement, The Boeing Company has released an announcement by Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president & CEO. He stated, “We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder in partnership with the Ethiopian team to grieve and extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and communities of the passengers and crew. With a shared value of safety, be assured that we are bringing all of the resources of The Boeing Company to bear, working together tirelessly to understand what happened and do everything possible to ensure it doesn’t happen again. All of us thank Ethiopian Airlines for their commitment and share their resolve to doing everything possible to build an even safer air travel system.”

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