The global aviation and travel industry stops in shock at the latest industry tragedy with the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 bound for Nairobi Kenya which cashed over the weekend (Sunday 10th March). Reports already have confirmed that this disaster as claimed the lives of 149 passengers and 8 crew.
Everyone in the industry and across the globe send out their heart felt sympathies for the family and friends of the victims of this crash.
The passengers and crew came from some 30 countries (none from Australia) and included many who work with the United Nations or in support organisations within the African region. A truly sad event and one that will no doubt attract a focus by aviation authorities as the details become more available with the aircraft involved being a new Boing 737 Max-8.
In fact, the aircraft had been delivered to the airline in November last year, so a very new plane. Boeing hold orders for some 4,500 737 Max-8 aircraft from over 100 airlines so I have no doubt that given this is the second tragic incident involving this new aircraft since it has been put into service, some serious investigations will be afoot.
The 737 aircraft have been a work horse for the aviation industry for decades and the new Max-8 has had very high expectations to continue in this vein.
Ethiopian Airlines is regarded as Africa’s leading airline and have a strong track record and has been building a broad route network to help support Africa.
It is always difficult to know what advice to give consumers and the broader industry when events of this magnitude occur. It is never easy as these events will always place doubt and concern into people’s minds about flying and their plans.
History has shown that this does not last long as life must go one and I am sure that will be the case but, I suspect all in industry will be looking for strong and decisive answers as to the circumstances around this incident and what response is given by both the airline and manufacture going forward.
The situation is dreadful, the pictures on the TV and all over the internet are confronting and for the families of these victims we can only hope that the authorities involved do the right thing in what I am sure is a difficult recovery mission and provide some understandable answers in the future. Again, all our hearts go out to those who have lost so much in this incident.