ADDIS ABABA, 15 February 2021 – Ethiopian Airlines will resume 737 MAX 8 flights next July after regulators approved changes to the aircraft which killed 157 people in a 2019 crash.
“We have made a thorough analysis – technically, operationally, commercially – and we decided to continue with the airplane,” Ethiopian Airline chief executive officer Tewolde GebreMariam said at a CAPA Center for Aviation Conference.
“We have been following up with our experts, technicians, and pilots, and they seem to be satisfied that the modifications will fully address the flight-control system that was creating problems,” CH-Aviation reported Monday, citing GebreMariam.
Last week, it was reported that Ethiopian Airlines is on the verge of reaching an “amicable settlement” that would allow the airliner to keep its 737 MAX aircraft orders.
The airliner and the Chicago-based aircraft maker have, reportedly, also reached a settlement on compensating victims and the airline for the March 2019 accident.
Boeing Profits Plummet $2.4 billion in two months as the firm suspended production of the 747.
The aircraft manufacturer also paid $2.5 billion in punitive damages after the US Department of Justice found two former Boeing employees had misled Federal Aviation Administration specialists amid the aircraft’s certification.
A total of $243.6 million was paid in fines to the U.S. government and the remaining balance to families of the 346 victims of the two crashes of the plane.
The crashes suffered by the aircraft were widely believed to have been caused by the plane’s faulty Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which plunged the plane into the ground despite pilot attempts to stabilize the flight.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted a ban on the 737 MAX in November, adding the plane was not “immediately” allowed to return to the skies but required additional pilot training programs.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA cleared the aircraft last October for service ahead of issuing a draft airworthiness directive last November.