Ethiopian Airlines: Boeing 737 MAX will return in 2022

Ethiopian Airlines announced on Monday that it is finally bringing troubled Boeing 737 MAX aircraft back to service after the 2019 crash that killed 157 people.

Boeing’s best-selling, single-aisle 737 MAX airplane was grounded worldwide after two separate crashes just six months apart, which killed 346 people.

In 2019, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX bound for Kenya, crashed six minutes after takeoff from the capital, Addis Ababa, killing all 157 passengers and crew. It was the second Boeing 737 MAX disaster in six months, after a Lion Air jet crashed in October 2018 in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Investigators identified faults in the sensors and new flight control software that had not been explained to pilots.

In today’s statement, the airline said that it was satisfied with the aircraft’s safety, and it is planning to resume flying Boeing 737 MAX planes in February of next year.

“Safety is our topmost priority… and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” Ethiopian Airlines‘ chairman, Tewolde Gebremariam, said in a statement. 

“We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous rectification process… our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet,” he added.

Boeing 737 MAX returned to service in late 2020, with airlines around the world taking deliveries of the aircraft.

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