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Ethiopia to Resume Flying Boeing 737 Max Three Years After Deadly Crash

Ethiopian Airlines employees pose for a group photo in front of a Boing 737 MAX on the tarmac of the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Feb. 1, 2022.

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest carriers in Africa, has said it will resume flying Boeing 737 MAX planes beginning Tuesday, nearly three years after a deadly crash of the same plane.

In a statement to the French news agency AFP, the airline said the decision came after a thorough certification process by regulators across the globe, including the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as Ethiopia.

All 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide in March 2019, after the aircraft crashed near the Ethiopian town of Bishoftu, killing all 157 people on board.

The previous October, the crash of a 737 MAX in Indonesia killed 189.

Boeing has since made design changes to the aircraft, and the planes have returned to service in most countries. Indonesia recertified the plane in December.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewelde Gebremariam said the company will be among the last airlines to resume flying the MAX model.

Tewelde said the airline has taken more than 20 months to monitor and recertify the plane.

The airline said its pilots and technicians have been fully trained regarding the plane’s modifications.