Qatar Amir condoles with Ethiopian President & PM

The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani sent a cable of condolences to the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali expressing his condolences over the deaths of so many people in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane.

No survivors after Ethiopian Airlines flight with 157 onboard crashes

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed yesterday morning en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew on board, state media reported, as African leaders offered condolences. "We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in accident today," the airline said in a statement, later confirming a report by Ethiopia's FANA Broadcasting Corp that there were no survivors. "It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight," it said.

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines says among the dead in the crash are 32 Kenyans and 17 Ethiopians. Asrat Begashaw said that 31 other nationalities were also among those on board the new Boeing 737-800 MAX plane that crashed.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest carrier, said the plane had taken off from Bole International Airport and "lost contact" six minutes later near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa by road. The weather in the capital, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter, was clear when the brand new Boeing plane, delivered to Ethiopia last year, plane took off. The Boeing came down near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu.

 

Records show that the plane was new. The Planespotters civil aviation database shows that the Boeing 737-8 MAX was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in mid-November. The plane's maker, U.S. giant Boeing, said it was "aware" of the accident "and is closely monitoring the situation."

The Boeing 737-800 MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. The cockpit data recorder showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, though Lion Air initially claimed that problems with the aircraft had been fixed.

The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in 2010, when the plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Beirut killing all 90 people on board.
Sunday's crash comes as the country's reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centered economy. Ethiopian Airlines has been expanding assertively, recently opening a route to Moscow and in January inaugurating a new passenger terminal in Addis Ababa to triple capacity. Speaking at the inauguration, the prime minister challenged the airline to build a new "Airport City" terminal in Bishoftu, where yesterday's crash occurred.

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