According to the Ethiopian Airlines CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, who is considered a titan of the aviation industry, the captain on ET 302 after takeoff from Addis Ababa on the flight to Nairobi reported difficulties with the aircraft. Mr. GebreMariam said this in a press conference in Addis Ababa minutes ago, according to local reporters.
Air Traffic Controllers issued clearance for the plane to return to the Airport in the Ethiopian Capital City and crashed in the process, killing everyone on board.
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This scenario sounds very similar to the scenario other Airbus 737-800 had, including the recent crash at Lions Air.
Ethiopian Airlines was deemed the best African carrier last year by UK-based air travel consultancy Skytrax. It reported carrying more than 10.6 million passengers in its 2017/2018 fiscal year, a 21% increase on the previous year and has a good safety ranking, scoring 6/7, according to Airlines Ratings.
According to Wikepedia the Aviation Safety Network records 60 accidents/incidents for Ethiopian Airlines that total 322 fatalities since 1965, plus six accidents for Ethiopian Air Lines, the former airline‘s name. Since July 1948, the company wrote off 36 aircraft, including three Boeing 707s, two Boeing 737s, one Boeing 767, two Douglas DC-3s, two Douglas DC-6, one de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo, two de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, 21 subtypes of the Douglas C-47, one Lockheed L-749 Constellation and one Lockheed L-100 Hercules.
The airline‘s most infamous accident occurred in November 1996, when a hijacked Boeing 767-200ER crashed into the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the Comoros Islands, due to fuel starvation, killing 125 of the 175 passengers and crew on board. The third deadliest episode took place in January 2010 and involved a Boeing 737-800 that had just departed Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Lebanon; there were 90 people on board, of whom none survived. The crash of a Boeing 737-200 at Bahir Dar Airport in September 1988 ranks as the carrier‘s fourth deadliest accident, with 35 fatalities, out of 104 people on board.