Ethiopian “Fully Prepared” to Resume Boeing 737 Max Flights Next Week

ADDIS ABABA- Ethiopian Airlines said it is “fully prepared” to resume flying Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, of which the airline owns four, and 27 are pending delivery.

The national flag carrier plans to restart flying the plane beginning next week and three years after the deadly crash that led to a worldwide grounding of the aircraft.

Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam first announced the decision to bring the aircrafts into service Max back almost a month ago, saying that the airline was satisfied with their safety following their re-certification.

“We are only a few days away from returning our B737 MAX fleet to the skies after intense recertification by multiple regulatory bodies,” the airlines said in a message posted on Twitter on Monday.

“As a safety-first airline, our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, & cabin crew are fully prepared to take the B737 MAX back to the skies,” it added.

The Lion Air plane crash in October 2018 in Indonesia killed 189 people and was followed five months later by an Ethiopian Airline’s ET 302 crash that caused the death of all 157 people aboard, triggering a worldwide grounding of the Boeing’s 737 MAX plane.

The consensus among investigators was that the primary cause of the crashes was Boeing’s faulty design of the jet’s anti-stall system.

In November 2021, the U.S. planemaker accepted full responsibility for the second crash, in a legal agreement with families of the victims, admitting that its software was to blame for ET 302’s loss of control and destruction, and that the 737-Max was in an “unsafe condition” to fly.

ET took‘enough time’ to restart B737

The planes were grounded for 20 months but have since been allowed to return to operations after the firm made significant changes to their software and training.

It has, however, taken about 34 months for Ethiopian Airlines to feel confident on the safety of the fleet and bring its four 737 MAX jets back to service.

The preparation of its workers and the rigorous rectification by regulators in the U.S. and Europe provide confidence to resume flying the plane, said Tewolde in a  statement posted on Ethiopian Airlines Facebook page late last Month.

“Safety is our top most priority at Ethiopian Airlines and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” Tewolde continued.

“We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work,” he said. With “more than 20 months of rigorous recertification process, and we have ensured that our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet.”

Boeing has also given the aircraft a clean bill of health to continue operations.

“Since the 737 MAX returned to service, airlines have flown nearly 240,000 flights around the world, and are conducting more than 1,300 flights every day,” Boeing said in a statement in November.

Ethiopian will join at least 34 airlines around the world to put the MAX back in the skies when it starts to operate the fleets in the first week of February, 2022.