Boeing not to change 737 MAX guidelines

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 12, 2019 19:30 hrs

Seattle: Boeing said it had no reason to issue new guidelines to operators, which have bought 737 MAX airliner after one crashed in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board.

An Ethiopian Airlines flight travelling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday, making it the second 737 MAX 8 to crash in similar circumstances within five months.

"The investigation is in its early stages. But at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators," Boeing said in a statement on Monday.

The jetliner's pilot reported an unspecified problem with his aircraft moments after taking off and was asked to return to the Ethiopian capital's Bole International Airport, a request that was granted, Ethiopian Airlines said.

Six minutes after takeoff, communication links with the airliner were lost and the plane crashed near Bishoftu, just south of Addis Ababa, where wreckage was strewn across the ground.

"Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane," the aircraft manufacturer said.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team."

Boeing said a technical team would be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and the United States National Transportation Safety Board.

Boeing acknowledged that China and Ethiopia had grounded all 737 MAXs.

"Along with China, Ethiopian Airlines also suspended operation of 737 MAX fleet after one of the planes crashed on Sunday," the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer said, adding the cause of the crash was under investigation.

Boeing said it had engaged with customers and regulators about any concerns they had. "We are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved."

The accident in Africa came less than five months after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed in Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board.