Airline to fly Boeing 737 MAX three years after deadly crash

Ethiopian Airlines will return troubled jet to service after 2019 crash killed 157 people

Ethiopian Airlines announced on Monday it plans to resume flying Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet in February 2022, saying it was satisfied with their safety.

“Safety is our topmost priority… and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” the company’s 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’s best-selling, single-aisle 737 MAX airplane was grounded worldwide after two separate crashes just six months apart, which killed 346 people.

READ MORE: Boeing promises ‘fair’ compensation to 737 MAX crash victims’ families

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 737 MAX disaster in six months, after a Lion Air plane in Indonesia crashed in October 2018, killing 189 people.

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

The plane returned to service in late 2020, with airlines across the globe taking deliveries of the aircraft.

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