Ethiopian Airlines boss says Boeing MAX jet ‘reliable’

Ethiopian Airlines’ boss praised Wednesday the recent “reliability” of the Boeing 737 MAX, an aircraft which suffered two fatal crashes including one involving a plane operated by the state-owned carrier.

The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi killed 157 people in March 2019, five months after a similar crash in Indonesia left 189 dead.

The disasters triggered the global grounding of the single-aisle jet for 20 months, before it returned to service in late 2020.

The airline waited until February this year to complete the first flight with the Boeing jet since its devastating crash.

The Addis Ababa-based carrier, which owns six 737 MAX aircraft, has subsequently re-introduced the jet to operations.

“I can tell you that the customers did not notice that they were flying on the 737 MAX,” chief executive Mesfin Tasew told journalists at Britain’s Farnborough airshow.

“The reliability of the aircraft during this two-month period is good — we didn’t have any major problems — so it was very very smooth in terms of customers.” 

He added: “Before we returned them, we modified them and had to bring the aircraft out of long-term storage.

“We did all the maintenance activities recommended by Boeing and also the Federal Aviation” Authority.

© Agence France-Presse

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