Ethiopian Airlines says it will be the last airline to operate the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after the model has been adjusted and re-certified by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), US.
Esayas Hailu, managing director, Ethiopian International Services, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian capital, on Wednesday.
On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET302 en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa crashed six minutes after take-off, killing all 157 persons on board.
The victims included two Nigerians– Pius Adesanmi, Canada-based professor of Literary Arts, Carleton university, and Biodun Bashua, a former UN and African Union (AU) deputy joint special representative in Darfur, Sudan.
The crash was the second involving Boeing 737 MAX 8 within five months – a Lion Air crashed in Indonesia in October 2018.
The March incident led to the grounding of aircraft model by airlines across the world.
Halilu said the airline will only fly the aircraft after it had been certified and flown by American and European airlines.
He added that Boeing would have to also train its pilots on the technicalities of the aircraft.
“Ethiopian Airlines has four grounded B737-Max-800 aircraft with an order for 27 more which will be determined after the adjustment by Boeing,” Hailu said.
“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 training for our pilots and crew because we have a B737-Max-800 Simulator in our facility.
“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.”