Tragically, all 157 people on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 were killed on Sunday. The plane, bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Airlines, a state-owned company, is recognized as one of the continent’s most successful carriers.
“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted.
A statement from the airlines said staff members were dispatched to the accident and will make every effort to assist in the emergency.
“The group CEO who is at the accident scene right now regrets to confirm that there are no survivors. He expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident” a statement from Ethiopian Airlines said.
Ethiopian Airlines is the continent’s largest airline in terms of destinations and passengers served, according to the Washington Post. Its last major accident occurred in 2010 when it crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after takeoff from Beirut, killing all 90 people on board.
The airline is recognized by industry experts as one of the best on the continent. John Cox, an aviation safety consultant, named Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways as two of the best in Africa, despite the challenges.
“Some operators use older airplanes and the maintenance is not up to global standards. The environment can be problematic and some airports on the continent lack good infrastructure. These elements in combination result in a higher accident rate than in other parts of the world. Despite these challenges, aviation safety in Africa has improved over the years,” Cox wrote September 2018 in USA Today.
In December 2018, CNBC expected Africa to remain the weakest airline region in the world for 2019, where it has been ranked for the past four years. Analysts, however, predicted that Ethiopian Airlines would be the exception on the continent. Its profit increased in the 2017 – 2018 financial year by nearly 2 percent to $233 million.