Ethiopian Airlines grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet following crash

Adis Ababa: In the wake of the unfortunate crash on Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines has announced the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet as an “extra safety precaution.”

All 157 people on board, belonging to 35 different nationalities, lost their lives after a newly issued Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed a few minutes after taking off from the Bole International Airport here on Sunday.

The grounding came into effect on March 10 itself, according to airlines which tweeted the announcement on Monday.
“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution,” the Airlines stated in Accident Bulletin number five, issued on March 11.

The Chinese authorities have also grounded all Boeing aircraft of the same make following the incident. There were eight Chinese nationals on board the crashed Ethiopian Airlines flight.

Four Indians are amongst those deceased in the tragic incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while condoling the tragedy, said: “Anguished by the loss of lives due to the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

Furthermore, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched efforts to reach the families of the deceased Indian passengers on March 10.

“I am sorry to know about the unfortunate crash of Ethiopian Airlines plane ET 302. We have lost four Indian nationals in the air crash. I have asked Indian High Commissioner in Ethiopia to provide all help and assistance to the bereaved families,” she tweeted.

“@IndiaInEthiopia has informed me that the deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha and Shikha Garg. Pls help me reach their families, ” she said.

Meanwhile, Boeing has delayed plans to unveil the new 777X jetliner this week, in the wake of the crash, reports CNN. The new aircraft, which will be able to carry 425 passengers, was supposed to be revealed on Wednesday. No other changes have been made in the aircraft’s schedule, with the first 777X being slated for delivery in 2020, as per schedule.