By Solomon Asowata
Addis Ababa – Ethiopian Airlines says it will be the last airline to operate the Boeing 737-Max-800 aircraft after adjustment and recertification by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the U.S.
Mr Esayas Hailu, Managing Director, Ethiopian International Services, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET302 en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa had crashed six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 persons on board on March 10.
The incident had led to the grounding of the B737-Max-800 aircraft by Ethiopian Airlines and other airlines across the world over safety concerns.
Hailu said: “Ethiopian Airlines has four grounded B737-Max-800 aircraft with an order for 27 more which will be determined after the adjustment by Boeing.
“ET has vowed to be the last airline to fly that aircraft. We can only fly it after others in Europe, America and the Gulf States have and after it has been recertified by the FAA.
“Boeing will also come up with a list of other trainings for our pilots and crew because we have a B737-Max-800 Simulator in our facility.”
He said the airline was saddened by the loss of the lives of its crew and passengers, adding that the incident had, however, strengthened its brand globally.
“Everybody knew that it was the design of the aircraft that led to the crash and Boeing and the FAA have attested to that.
“Our commercial brand emerged stronger and the public’s confidence to travel with us have not been affected,” Hailu said.
He thanked the Nigerian media, people and government for the support given to Ethiopian Airlines during the unfortunate incident, stressing that it had further strengthened the bond between both nations. (