Dipankar Bhakta | Dreamstime
Photo 141922383 © Dipankar Bhakta | Dreamstime.com Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa in March 2019, killing 157 people, following a similar fatal crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX in Indonesia, in October 2018.

Ethiopian Airlines to Resume 737 MAX Service

Dec. 27, 2021
The carrier that endured the second fatal crash of Boeing’s narrow-body passenger jet will return its remaining 737 MAX aircraft to service on February 1, 2022.

Ethiopian Airlines has made the decision to resume service with its 737 MAX jets on February 1, 2022, the carrier announced, explaining it is in the “final stage” of preparation for that development. One of airline’s jets crashed on March 10, 2019, killing 157 passengers and crew members.

The carrier has four 737 MAX aircraft in storage, and has orders booked for 25 more.

The 737 MAX is Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, a twin-engine narrow-body passenger jet. The program was grounded for 18 months – from March 2019 to November 2020 – following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which together with a Lion Air jet crash in October 2018 was attributed to the flight control software overriding the crews’ actions. Boeing halted all deliveries at the same time, though production of new aircraft continued.

Boeing revised the 737 MAX flight-control software program during the grounding, and the FAA recertified the jets’ airworthiness in November 2020. Deliveries resumed in December 2020.

"Safety is our top-most priority at Ethiopian Airlines and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” stated Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam. “It is in line with this guiding principle that we are now returning the Boeing 737 MAX to service.”

GebreMariam cited the FAA’s recertification, as well as those by the European Air Safety Agency, Transport Canada, and others, along with the 737 MAX’s service with several dozen other airlines, as proof of the aircraft’s safety and reliability. He also noted that Ethiopian Airlines had taken time to review the design changes and the recertification process to ensure its crews and technicians are ready for the return to service.

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