FOLLOWING the Ethiopian air accident that killed 157 passengers and crew on Sunday including Nigerians, the airlines on Monday morning said it has grounded all its Boeing 737-8 Max fleet.
In a statement issued via its official website at about 07:08am, the decision became effective yesterday and would be rescinded until further notice.
It was reported that one of the black boxes have also been found.
The Accident Bulletin no. 5 published the airlines revealed that though the cause of the accident still remained unknown, the decision became necessary as safety measures.
“Following the Tragic accident of ET 302/10 March B-737-8 MAX (ET-AVJ), Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B-737-8 MAX fleet effective yesterday March 10, 2019, until further notice.
“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as an extra safety precaution.”
Meanwhile, Boeing said on Monday the investigation into the crash is in its early stages and there is no need to issue new guidance to operators of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft based on the information it has so far, Reuters has reported.
“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved,” Reuters quoted an email sent by Boeing spokesman.
Prof. Pius Adesanmi, Director of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University, Canada was among the casualties.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has expressed his heartfelt condolences to families of the victims, including the UN staff.
Deeply saddened by the news this morning of the plane crash in Ethiopia, claiming the lives of all on board. My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims — including our own @UN staff — who perished in this tragedy.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 10, 2019
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, also commiserated with families of the deceased, especially Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, a retired Nigerian Foreign Service Officer who worked for the UN-African Union Mission in Dafur (UNAMID).
The late Bashua, in January was also nominated Interim Chairman of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia until his death.