Posted on: 10 March 2019 by Chloe Greenbank
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 Max has been involved in an accident near Addis Ababa this morning.
The airline has released a statement on twitter saying that the scheduled service from the Ethiopian capital was en route to Nairobi when it was involved in an accident near Bishoftu (Debra Zeit) south-east of Addis.
It is believed there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight, although details are yet to be confirmed. According to flight tracking website Flightradar24 the aircraft had an “unstable vertical speed” after take-off.
“The aircraft with registration number ET-AJV took off at 8.38am local time for Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08.44am,” the statement read.
In its initial bulletin the airline stated: “At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties. Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”
A later bulletin confirms that “the group CEO who is at the accident scene right now regrets to confirm that there are no survivors.
“He expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident.”
Ethiopian Airlines has built a strong reputation as one of the key players in Africa’s aviation industry over recent years with a good safety record and one of the newest fleet of planes on the continent. The airline took delivery of the new 737 Max 8 in November last year.
The accident also comes as the continent witnessed its third consecutive year of zero fatalities and zero hull losses in its jet operations at the end of 2018.