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Ethiopian Airlines CEO wants rigorous review of Boeing 737-MAX planes following fatal crash

By Tom Costello,

Two months after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, killing all 157 people on board, the CEO of the airline said his crews and passengers have lost confidence in the Boeing 737-MAX and he wants the company to conduct a more thorough review of the plane.

Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines CEO

In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Monday, Tewolde Gebremariam said that the airline doesn’t yet know if it will fly the Boeing 737-MAX planes again. But he said, “At this stage I cannot, I cannot fully say that the airplane will fly back on Ethiopian Airlines. It may, if we are fully convinced and if we are able to convince our pilots, if we are ever to convince our traveling public.”

However, he also said that if the planes were back in service, Ethiopian Airlines would be “the last airline to fly them again.” “We have not got a time to discuss on the return to service and we have made it very clear on several occasions we would not be the first one to return their airplane back to air.”

Gebremariam said it’s not enough for Boeing to only review the “MCAS” anti-stall system believed responsible for the fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. He wants a much more rigorous review of the plane.

“We strongly believe that entire flight control system needs to be reviewed,” he said.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 followed a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. The two crashes were responsible for 346 deaths.

Investigators in both countries say the Boeing 737-MAX’s new MCAS anti-stall system seems to have played a role.

“It’s very abnormal for a new airplane to have two accidents, fatal accidents in a span of five months,” he said. “These are brand new airplanes.”

Source: NBC News

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