Ethiopian Airlines said it “strongly refutes all the baseless and factually incorrect allegations” written in the Washington Post yesterday (Thursday) which suggested the pilot of the Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed on 10 March killing all 157 on board was not properly trained.
The airline said in a statement today (22 March) in regards to the Washington Post article: “All the allegations in the article are false defamations with out any evidence, collected from unknown and unreliable sources and meant to divert attention from the global grounding of the B-737 MAX airplanes.
“Ethiopian airlines operates with one of the highest global standards of quality and safety performances certified by all National, Regional and International regulators like the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the FAA, EASA, IOSA and ICAO and other National regulatory authorities.”
The carrier said it is one of the leading global airlines with modern fleet, high standards of infrastructure, highly automated with the latest ICT (information and communication technology) and one of the most modern operating systems.
It added: “The airline has seven full flight simulators (Q-400, B-737NG, B-737 MAX, B-767, B-787, B-777 and A-350) to train its pilots and other airlines pilots. It has one of the largest and most modern Aviation Academy with training devices and technologies among the very few in the world. The Airline has invested more than half a Billion dollars in infrastructure only in the last 5 years which is not common in a typical airline.
“Although the cause of the accident is yet to be known by the international investigation in progress, the entire world knows all B-737 MAX airplanes have been grounded since the tragic accident of ET 302/10 March. About 380 B-737 MAX airplanes are grounded all over the world including in the USA.
“All concerned regulators, Safety oversight authorities and other law enforcement agencies are conducting serious investigation on the design and certification of the B-737 MAX airplanes and we are waiting patiently for the result of these investigations.
“This being the fact, the subject article is trying to divert the main focus of the world to unrelated and factually incorrect allegations. We hereby demand the Washington Post to remove the article, apologize and correct the facts.”
The New York Times also wrote a report titled: “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training”.
Yesterday (21 March) the airline released the following statement in response to the New York Times article: “Ethiopian Airlines, one of the safest and most dependable airlines in the world, is pleased to confirm that Ethiopian pilots have completed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved differences training from the B-737 NG aircraft to the B-737 MAX aircraft before the phase in of the B-737-800 MAX fleet to the Ethiopian operation and before they start flying the B-737-800 MAX.
“The pilots had also been made aware of, and well briefed on the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident. The content of the airworthiness directive has also been well incorporated in all pilot training manuals, operational procedures and working manuals.
“The B-737 MAX full flight simulators is not designed to simulate the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) problems.
“Ethiopia Airlines urges all concerned to refrain from making uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation. International regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the final result of the investigation.”