Ethiopian Airlines plans to resume Boeing 737 Max operations in February

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The carrier has four Max 8s in storage

Ethiopian Airlines intends to resume operations with Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in February 2022, nearly three years after the crash of one of its examples prompted the global grounding of the type. 

The Addis Ababa-based carrier said on 27 December that it is in the “final stage” of returning the type to service, with the first flight “expected on 1 February” next year.

”Safety is our topmost priority at Ethiopian Airlines and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” says Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam. “It is in line with this guiding principle that we are now returning the Boeing 737, Max, to service.” 

In a statement Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam, said:

“Safety is our topmost priority at Ethiopian Airlines and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take. It is in line with this guiding principle that we are now returning the B737 Max to service not only after the recertification by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), EASA of Europe, Transport Canada, CAAC, ECAA and other regulatory bodies but also after the return to service by more than 34 airlines around the world.

“In line with our initially stated commitment to become among the last airlines to return the B737 Max, we have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous recertification process and we have ensured that our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet.

“The airplane model has accumulated more than 275,000 commercial flights since the resumption of B737 Max operation a year ago. Ethiopian Airlines has put in place a rigorous and comprehensive process to ensure that every plane in the sky is safe. In the next month, we will update the travelling public on further details and progresses.

“We always prioritize customers’ safety and I am confident that our customers will enjoy onboard safety and comfort that we have been known for.”

The crash of Ethiopian flight 302 on 10 March 2019 killed 157 people and came several months after the crash of a Lion Air Max 8 in October 2018. Cirium fleets data shows Ethiopian has four 737 Max 8 jets in storage, with 25 on order.