Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has confirmed that the African giant has no intentions of discontinuing its use of Boeing 737 MAX planes despite the crash that killed 157 passengers and crew members last year. Many will recall this accident, and another one with Lion Air which led to the deaths of 189 passengers and crew members, resulted in the grounding of the planes for almost two years.
Speaking at the Center for Aviation’s CAPA Live virtual event for February, Tewolde confirmed that the airline does not see any issues with going ahead with its orders for the 737 Max planes, and even stated that the plans might be reintroduced to the skies as early as Summer 2021.
This comes despite recent reports emerging that say Boeing leadership participated in a “misleading public relations campaign” regarding the company’s neglectful handling of red flags regarding the Boeing 737 MAX flight control systems that led to the loss of 346 lives. These allegations surfaced on February 5th after previously sealed court filings were made public.
The allegations of neglect and wilful misinformation come from Boeing’s shareholders. According to the shareholders the company’s previous CEO was not held accountable for the accidents despite his administration’s neglectful practices and purposeful deception of the public. Boeing spokesman Bradley Akubuiro denies these allegations and expects them to be dismissed in court.
Tewolde, on the other hand, cites the fact that several aviation agencies including the Federal Aviations Association (FAA) (USA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (Europe), and others have given the planes the green light as cause to be patient before writing the planes off the skies completely.
The Director assured those concerned about hastily going back to the planes, that Ethiopian still remains dedicated to its assurances that it will not be the first airline to resume the use of the Boeing 737 MAX.