Update: Ethiopian Airlines to Resume Flying Boeing’s 737 Max in February

Ethiopian Airlines says it's in the final stage to return the B737 MAX fleet to service with the first flight expected on 01 February 2022. (Reuters photo)


Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s largest carrier, will resume flying Boeing’s 737 Max jets from Feb. 1, three years after a crash that killed 157 people, triggering a world-wide grounding of the aircraft.

The recertification by regulators in the U.S. and Europe provides confidence to put the plane back into service, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said in a statement posted on the Ethiopian Airlines Facebook page. The carrier has four Max jets.

“We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work,” Tewolde 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.”

Many other airlines already have the model back in service. China was the latest to approve the resumption of the Max jets for commercial flights.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa in March 2019, five months after a similar incident in Indonesia, triggering a grounding of the Max worldwide. Boeing reached a $2.5 billion agreement earlier this year to settle a criminal charge that it defrauded the U.S. government by concealing information about the jet. That included almost $1.8 billion to reimburse Max customers.

Tewolde in September said Ethiopian Airlines had reached a separate settlement with Boeing.

Photo courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines

Press Release

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines in the Final Stage to Return the B737 MAX Fleet to Service with the First Flight Expected on 01 February 2022

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said “Safety is our 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 return to service by more than 34 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, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet. The airplane model has accumulated more than 275,000 commercial flights since the resumption of B737 MAX operation a year ago.

Ethiopian Airlines has put in place a rigorous and comprehensive processes to ensure that every plane in the sky is safe. In the next one month, we will update the travelling public on further details and progresses.

We always prioritize customers’ safety and I am confident that our customers will enjoy onboard safety and comfort that we have been known for.”

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