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Ethiopian Airlines as busy as usual despite accident, says Group CEO

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Addis Ababa, March 13, 2019 (FBC) –Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) has continued its flights to various destinations worldwide as usual and as per schedule despite Sunday’s accident, said Group CEO of Ethiopian, Tewolde Gebremariam.

The CEO last night visited the Addis Ababa Bole international airport terminal, Africa’s biggest hub, and witnessed the smooth operations.

Speaking to journalists after the visit, Tewolde said the Addis Ababa Bole international airport is as busy as always, offering its customers standard service, as per flight schedule and without any differences in number of flights.

“Today alone, Ethiopian has conducted 300 flights as always. There are also 30 scheduled flights for this night,” he said, adding passengers’ confidence on the airlines remained high despite the accident last Sunday.

No flights were cancelled or delayed after the accident, Tewolde added.

As per recommendation of Boeing, the pilots were offered training by using flight simulator, he said, adding investigation of the cause of the accident could take longer time. However, “we are currently gathering information and evidences about the accident,” he said

He said the Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing will provide the necessary support for the investigation team.

Ethiopian accident investigation team, along with relevant stakeholders and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun investigation at the crash site to examine the cause of accident.

Ethiopian Airlines had already decided to ground B-737-8 MAX fleet effective March 10, 2019 until further notice, he said, adding other airlines also followed Ethiopian’s move due to safety concern.

A number of airlines, including the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and China banned the Boeing 737 MAX from operating after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 crashed on Sunday, the second accident involving that model in less than five months

Passengers at the terminal told FBC that they will continue to use Ethiopian Airlines as always since it has good safety record.

They also expressed their condolences over the accident.