Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed minutes after takeoff in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), on March 10, 2019. There were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard.
The aircraft took off at Bole International airport and was en route to Nairobi (Kenya) at 08:38 am (local time). After approximately six minutes, the contact with the aircraft was lost.
Accident Bulletin no. 1
Issued on march 10, 2019 at 11:00am
Ethiopian Airlines will release further information as soon as it is available. Updated information will also be on Ethiopian Airlines website at https://t.co/Je7pXoKxHh pic.twitter.com/07wKZHPVPl
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 10, 2019
Currently, neither casualties nor survivors are officially confirmed, according to the airline. However, the country’s Prime Minister has expressed condolences to the families of people who have lost their lives during the crash.
The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 10, 2019
The aircraft involved in the incident was a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8. The aircraft, registration number ET-AVJ, was delivered to the airline four months ago ‒ in November 2018. Ethiopian Airlines has an order of 30 Boeing MAX aircraft, deliveries began in July 2018. Currently, Ethiopian has taken five MAX aircraft, planespotters.net data indicates.
In this aspect the incident is looking similar to the crash of Lion Air. Flight JT610 with 189 people on board crashed into the sea 13 minutes after taking off from the Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport (CGK) early morning on October 29, 2018. Lion Air also operated a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8, which had been flying with the airline for just a couple of months.
UPDATE 11-03-2019, 12:28 (UTC+2):
On March 10, 2019, Boeing issued an official statement expressing condolences to the families of the crash victims. “Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane,” the company stated. ”We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board”.
Following the accident, Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its MAX 8 fleet, quoting safety precaution as the reason. Similarly, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has ordered all the country’s airlines to suspend Boeing 737 MAX 8 operations, point out to the fact that this is the second crash involving this type of aircraft in less than five months. Both Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes occurred at the take off stage and involved newly delivered MAX 8.