An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 (ET-AVJ · MSN 62450 · LN 7243), operating flight ET302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi with 149 passengers and eight crew, has crashed at 08:44 am local time (05:44 GMT), six minutes after departure.
In a statement, the airline confirmed that no survivors had been found at the crash site. The aircraft carried citizens of 33 different countries. The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route links East Africa’s two most significant economic powers and is a popular route with travelers.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash of the jetliner, which had been in service with the airline since its delivery in November. The airline’s CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters that the Pilot sent out a distress call, and was given clearance to return to Addis Ababa.
According to data provided by Flightradar 24, the aircraft showed unstable vertical speed after takeoff. The last transponder received came from 21nm east of Addis Ababa at 8,600 feet.
In a statement, Boeing said it was “deeply saddened” to hear of the crash and that a technical team was ready to assist with the request of the US National Transportation Safety Board.
This accident comes nearly five months after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed 12 minutes after departure from Jakarta, killing all 189 on board. The flight was also operated by a new Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Currently, there are over 45 Boeing 737 MAX operators worldwide, with around 190 frames delivered.
Airways will continue to monitor this developing story and update its reporting as new information becomes available.