Following the crash of one of Ethiopian Airlines aircraft with flight number ET 302 on a scheduled service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on March 10, the Chinese, United States, and other Governments world over have grounded all Boeing Max 8 and 9 planes in their various countries.
This move was as a result of pressure mounted on Boeing by Tewolde GebreMariam, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines.
Earlier information from the airline said,” the management of Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed that one of its aircraft with flight number ET 302 on a scheduled service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today, March 10 around Zeit”.
The aircraft, B737800MAX with registration number ET Bishoftu [Debre AVJ] it was gathered, took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44am, six minutes after takeoff.
The brand new aircraft that is barely five months old had 149 passengers and 8 crew on board the flight in which the victims are from 35 different countries with majority of them from Kenya.
Tewolde expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew, who lost their lives in this tragic accident.
As a titan of the aviation industry, he presides over the fastest growing and most profitable airline in Africa.
Tewolde began his career in the Cargo Traffic Handling Department at the company when he joined 30 years ago and rose to the ranks through overseas management, Marketing and Sales to Chief Operating Officer before his appointment as CEO.
Meanwhile, aviation experts were of the opinion that Ethiopian Airlines, which initiated the campaign to ground all Boeing Max 8 pending investigations as well as the determination as to what is the root cause of the crash before they come into operation again, was so successful because of the airline’s impeccable records in reputation, capacity and professionalism in the last decades which also made one of the most reputed Star Alliance Members.
Has it not been the reputation and professionalism of Ethiopian Airlines, the crash would have also been blackmailed, labeled and characterized as a result of poor maintenance and management like the Lions Air crash of Indonesia six months earlier.
As bad and painful as the crash as turned out to be, Ethiopian Airlines has made Africa and Africans proud and deserves the support of everyone on the continent.
In Nigeria, the management of the airline has opened Condolence Registers at their Offices in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu. This is for the victims of the ill-fated ET Flight 302 that crashed on March 10 6 minutes after takeoff.
The General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria, Firihiewot Mekonnen received the first set of visitors at the office in Lagos, while the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria [FAAN] at Abuja Airport, Engineer Saleh Dunomah was received by the Ethiopian Airlines Sales Manager in Abuja, Tilahun Tadesse.
Mekonnen thanked Nigerians for standing with Ethiopia and Ethiopian Airlines in this moment of grief.
“We thank the Nigerian Government, President and the good people of Nigeria for the condolence message. We have always counted on Nigeria as an African Partner and Brother and this sad occasion once again proves the bond.
“We commiserate with Nigeria over the loss to humanity of the two great Nigerians on that flight. We have since reached out to the families involved. Ethiopian Airlines will not abandon its responsibilities to them”, he said.
Two Nigerians were involved in the crash; Professor Pius Adesanmi and Ambassador Bashua Abiodun.
Ethiopian Airlines meanwhile has grounded all B737-8Max Airplanes in its fleet. Ethiopian Airlines does not use the B737 Max on its Nigerian Routes. The B777, B787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 are the Aircraft deployed daily to Nigeria.