Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, says the tragedy of flight 302 will not define Ethiopian Airlines noting that the airline pledge to work with Boeing and other stakeholders to make air travel even safer.
He says: “As the largest aviation group on the continent of Africa, we represent The New Spirit of Africa and will continue to move forward. We are rated as a 4-star global airline with a high safety record and member of Star Alliance. That will not change.”
The airline chief commiserates with families and friends of the victims of flight 302. The flight enroute Nairobi from Addis Ababa on 10th March 2019 had crashed minutes after take-off leaving no survivor. The flight was operated with a B 737 MAX 8, a new aircraft type manufactured by Boeing Airplanes. Following the flight 302 accident, the B 737 MAX was grounded worldwide.
Mr. GebreMariam says the crews on the ill-fated flight were well-trained to operate the B 737 MAX 8 aircraft. He states: “As it is well known in our global aviation industry, the differences training between the B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called for computer-based training, but we went beyond that. After the Lion Air accident in October, our pilots who fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 were fully trained on the service bulletin issued by Boeing and the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the USA FAA.”
Mr. GebreMariam states that Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. “They have been a partner of ours for many years. More than two-thirds of our fleet is Boeing. Despite the tragedy, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will continue to be linked well into the future,” he says, adding that Ethiopian airlines is also proud of its association with the U.S. aviation.
“The investigation of the accident is well underway, and we will learn the truth. At this time, I do not want to speculate as to the cause,” he says adding: “Ethiopian airlines will work with Boeing, investigators in Ethiopia, in the U.S. and elsewhere to figure out what went wrong with flight 302 to use this tragedy to make the skies safer for the world.”