Ethiopian Airlines to make Boeing 737 MAX decision soon
Ethiopian Airlines is recovering from the deadliest accident in its 74-year history: 157 people were on board the Boeing 737 MAX that went down on March 10, 2019. Before that, the last time the airline suffered a loss of life was in 2010, when a Boeing 737-800 plunged into the Mediterranean Sea off Beirut with 90 people on board.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam calls the tragic flight 302 accident a shock and bad luck. However, that does not mean that the airline will cease its years-long partnership with Boeing or cancels the remainder of its 30 737 MAX order. The decision on the planes will be taken in the “near” future, but even if Ethiopian chooses to fly the MAX again, it will not be until they are 110% sure the plane is safe, GebreMariam said at Fortune forum.
Ethiopian Airlines signed an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX in September 2014 and has taken deliveries of five aircraft, including the one that crashed. The airline might be open to receiving the remaining 25 planes, GebreMariam stated, but only after the safety of the airplane is tried on other carriers.
The airline’s management will decide in the near future, possibly in a couple of months, whether to resume 737 MAX operations. Before making the decision, they want to evaluate the modifications that Boeing has been making. “We want to make sure that the problems in the airplane are fully addressed,” said GebreMariam, adding that Ethiopian Airlines would not be the first carrier to fly the plane.
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