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Ethiopian Airlines flies 737 MAX with passengers for first time since deadly crash

Christian Fernsby |
Ethiopian Airlines has returned its B737 MAX back to the skies with the airline’s Board Chairman and Executives, Boeing Executives, Ministers, Ambassadors, government officials, journalists and customers onboard the first flight.

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Topics: ETHIOPIAN   

Commenting on the return of the B737 MAX to service, Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said, “Safety is the top most priority at Ethiopian Airlines and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take. It is in line with this guiding principle that we are now returning the B737 MAX to service not only after the recertification by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), EASA of Europe, Transport Canada, CAAC, ECAA and other regulatory bodies but also after the fleet type’s return to service by 36 airlines around the world.

"In line with our initially stated commitment to become among the last airlines to return the B737 MAX, we have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous recertification process and we have ensured that our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians and cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet. The airline’s confidence is further showcased by flying the top executives and the board chairman and other top government officials on the first flight.”

The B737 MAX has accumulated more than 349,000 commercial flights and close to 900,000 total flight hours since the resumption of its operation a year ago. Ethiopian Airlines has four B737 MAX in its fleet and 25 on order, some of which it will take delivery of in 2022.

In March 2019 a flight to Nairobi crashed in a field six minutes after take-off from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa killing all 157 passengers and crew. The accident followed another incident five months earlier, when the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

The accidents exposed a problem with a system on the plane, and the model was grounded worldwide.


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