Ethiopian Airlines still believes in Boeing despite crash – CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde  GebreMariam, says the airline still believes in aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, despite the recent crash of one of its B737 Max, killing 157 passengers and crew on board.

GebreMariam stated on Monday that both companies had been partners for many years and more than two-thirds of the aircraft in its fleet were made by Boeing.

He said, “Let me be clear; Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. They have been a partner of ours for many years. More than two-thirds of our fleet are Boeing. We were the first African airline to fly the 767, 757, 777-200LR, and we were the second nation in the world after Japan to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner.

“Less than a month ago, we took delivery of yet another two new 737 cargo planes, a different version from the one that crashed. The plane that crashed was less than five months old. Despite the tragedy, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will continue to be linked well into the future.”

He said the airline was proud of its association with the United States aviation industry, adding that Ethiopian Airlines was founded in 1945 with help from Trans World Airlines, and that in the early years, its pilots, flight crews, mechanics and managers were actually employees of TWA.

GebreMariam also stated that the investigation of the accident was well underway, and the airline would learn the truth.

“At this time, I do not want to speculate as to the cause. Many questions on the B-737 MAX airplane remain without answers, and I pledge full and transparent cooperation to discover what went wrong,” he added.

He said the airline’s 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, adding that among the airline’s seven full flight simulators, two of them were for B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX.

“We are the only airline in Africa among the very few in the world with the B-737 MAX full flight simulator. Contrary to some media reports, our pilots who flew the new model were trained on all appropriate simulators. The crews were well trained on this aircraft,” he added.

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