Nairobi News


Ethiopian Airline grounds its fleet of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, China too

By Amina Wako March 11th, 2019 2 min read

Ethiopian Airlines has grounded its Boeing 737 Max fleet. All four aircraft remain on the ground in Addis Ababa.

In a statement released on Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines said:

“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution while investigations into the crash continue.”

The decision comes in the wake of a crash by an Ethiopia Airline Boeing 737 Max flight which was flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi early on Sunday morning.

The crash claimed the lives of all 149 passengers and eight crew members who were on board.


Before the Boeing 737 airplane took off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, it had arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa.

It has also been reported that Captain Yared Getachew informed the Ethiopian radar control about the difficulties and was cleared to turn back and land at Bole.

FlightRadar24, a Swedish website that tracks, origins and destinations, flight numbers, aircraft types, positions, altitudes, headings, and speeds indicated that the plane’s momentum was unstable two minutes into the flight.

The instability persisted for the next three minutes and the plane maintained an average altitude of 7,500 feet, with a speed of 600 knots (about 1,100km/h) before the tracking site lost its position.


Following the accident, the Chinese government has also grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. The Boeing is the same model with the Ethiopian Airline that crashed shortly after take off.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on Monday morning that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets must be out of the air by 6 pm local time, due to its principle of “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”

In late October, a 737 MAX 8 flown by Lion Air went down off the coast of Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air planes were brand-new aircraft and both crashed minutes into flight.