Ethiopian Airlines has restarted passenger flights with the Boeing 737 MAX.
The first flight since the crash in 2019 was on 01 February, took off from Addis Ababa back and landed back there about two hours later.
The highly symbolic flight with the aircraft had the airline’s Board Chairman and Executives, Boeing Executives, Ministers, Ambassadors, government officials, journalists and passengers onboard.
Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group CEO:
“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 Ethiopian Airlines flight with the 737 MAX was the airline’s first since the type was grounded in 2019 after two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
189 people died when Lion Air Flight 610 crashed on October 29, 2018, and 157 died when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10, 2019.
Ethiopian Airlines has four B737 MAX in its fleet and 25 on order, some of which it will take delivery of in 2022.
Almost 5000 737 MAX aircraft have been ordered and over 650 delivered so far.
Image credit: Ethiopian Airlines