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ADDIS ABABA: March 19, 2019. Ethiopian Airlines is to launch a direct three times a week flight to Istanbul from April 01, 2019 with a B737-800 following the post-crash grounding of the company’s B737 MAX-8 fleet.

Ethiopian B737 800“It gives us great pleasure to launch flights to Istanbul, connecting Europe’s largest city to the over 60 African destinations we serve, through our hub Addis Ababa,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam. “Turkey being one of the fastest growing countries among the emerging economies, availability of seamless connectivity options will facilitate the channeling of investors and enhance business ties between the two regions.”

Commenting on the Ethiopian Airlines B737 MAX crash on March 10, Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued a second statement on March 18 saying: “Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we're taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX. We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet's grounding.

“Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane's cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it's appropriate to release additional details,” he added.

In 2014 Ethiopian Airlines ordered 20 B737 MAX aircraft with 15 options at a reported list price of US$2.1 billion.

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