Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX fleet has begun to be reactivated. The first of four passenger jets, the Boeing 737 MAX, has taken to the skies for the first time since being grounded in spring 2019.
On February 1, 2022, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 with the registration ET-AVI was seen. The plane took off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) at 09:21 a.m. (UTC) for a two-hour reactivation flight and landed at 11.46 a.m., according to Flightradar24.com (UTC).
The plane was the first of the airline’s four 737 MAX passenger jets before the type was grounded following two catastrophic disasters. When Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on October 29, 2018 and March 10, 2019, respectively, 346 people died.
Ethiopian Airlines’ original timetable, which was announced in December 2021, is being followed by the MAX reactivation.
Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO, said at the time that the company had taken more than 20 months to recover trust in the safety of its MAX fleet.
“We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous rectification process…
our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident in the safety of the fleet,” the CEO said in a statement seen by Reuters, which was dated January 2022.
Gebremariam also noted that safety is the airline’s “topmost priority” and guides “every decision [it] makes and all actions [it] takes”.