Source: BBC News By Hana Zeratsyon For Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians, the ancient city of Aksum is a sacred place, home to the Biblical Queen of Sheba and Ark of the Covenant. The ark is believed to contain the 10 commandments handed down to Moses by God, and is said to be under the guard of […]
The relatively new aircraft type involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash is popular with Irish lessors – Peter Hamilton
Ireland’s main aircraft lessors have had at least 224 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft delivered or are on order, figures compiled by The Irish Times show.
The relatively new aircraft type has recorded two fatal crashes since its entry into service, including that of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Lion Air flight 610.
Dublin-headquartered SMBC Aviation Capital appears to be the biggest owner of MAX 8s that operates out of the Republic, with five owned, three managed and about 110 committed. The company recently delivered one to Icelandair, and in December signed a deal with US budget carrier Southwest for 12 MAX 8s in a sale and leaseback agreement.
There are 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s on the Irish aircraft register, the Irish Aviation Authority has said. It will not follow the lead of regulators in China, Ethiopia and Indonesia, all of whom ordered carriers to ground the 737 MAX model in the wake of the latest crash, which displayed similarities to the earlier Lion Air incident.
Norwegian Air has no current plans to withdraw its 737 MAX aircraft, and Ryanair has said it is reserving judgment on similar models it has ordered. The Irish airline is due to take delivery of 200 Boeing 737 MAX-8s out to 2024.
Some of the aircraft grounded by Chinese and Indonesian authorities include aircraft owned by Irish lessors including SMBC and Avolon.
In December, SMBC delivered the first MAX 8 from its order book to Chinese carrier Lucky Air, with three more to be delivered in the first and second quarter of this year.
In the summer of 2017, Avolon delivered two MAX 8 planes to Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air having originally delivered the world’s first MAX 8 to Malindo Air in May 2017.
Lion Air flight 610 crashed in October 2018, killing all passengers on board, but that specific plane was not owned by any Irish aircraft lessor.
In total, Avolon has agreed to firm orders for 55 MAX 8 aircraft, with options for an additional 20. Goshawk, meanwhile, owns 24 MAX 8s, while AerCap appears to hold five. However, it’s not clear whether AerCap has more on order. The lessor declined to comment.
Other entities which have operations in the Republic with MAX 8s include BBAM and GE Capital Aviation Services.
Fly Leasing has two Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The company’s chief executive, Colm Barrington, has been dealing with Ethiopian Airlines for more than 20 years.
“They’re a fantastic airline who I’ve recently used myself. We’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.”
Mr Barrington added that Fly Leasing has no more orders in for MAX 8s.
It is believed that the aircraft that crashed on Sunday was directly owned by the airline rather than leased.
US manufacturer Boeing has faced questions over the safety of the aircraft given the fact that two have been involved in fatal crashes despite its relatively recent introduction into airline fleets.
The company said in a statement that a technical team would be travelling to the crash site to provide assistance to the Ethiopian accident investigation bureau.
CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Despite two deadly crashes within a space of five months airlines told it was safe to fly 737 MAX 8 planes on Monday as investigators found two black box recorders that will help piece together the final moments of an Ethiopian Airlines jet before it plunged to the ground on Sunday.
The US Federal Aviation Administration has told airlines it believes Boeing’s 737 Max 8 model to be airworthy, after two fatal crashes inside six months. An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed six minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.
Ethiopi and Indonesia grounded their fleets of 737 MAX 8 aircraft earlier on Monday, citing safety concerns, contributing to a drop in Boeing Co shares that wiped billions of dollars off the market value of the world’s biggest plane maker.
Late on Monday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a “continued airworthiness notification” to assure operators of the plane that it was safe to fly. It said it was collecting data on the crash and keeping in contact with international civil aviation authorities and would take immediate action if it identified any safety issues.
Southwest Airlines Co, which operates the largest fleet of 737 MAX 8s, said it remained confident in the safety of all its Boeing planes even as it received a rush of queries from customers wanting to know if they were booked to fly on a 737 MAX 8.
“Our customer relations team is responding to these customers individually, emphasizing our friendly, no-change fee policy,” the No. 4 U.S. airline said in a statement.
Investigators in Ethiopia found two black box recorders early on Monday that will help piece together the final moments of the plane before it plunged, trailing smoke and debris, and crashed killing 157 people. The disaster came just months after a jet of the same model came down in Indonesia killing 189 people.
The discovery of black box recorders means the cause of the crash may be quickly understood, as long as recordings are not damaged, although it typically takes a year for a full detailed investigation to be completed.
Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said he was confident in the safety of the 737 MAX in an email to employees which was seen by Reuters.
The planemaker, the airline and its insurers face big claims after the crash, industry sources said. The insured value of the plane itself was likely around $50 million.
On top of that, Boeing may face lawsuits from victims’ families in the United States, where legal compensation payments for people killed in plane crashes could run around $2 million to $3 million per person, depending on the law applied, compared to about $200,000 in Ethiopia, according to Justin Green, a New York-based aviation lawyer who has represented families in cases against Boeing.
Boeing declined to comment on its insurance cover.
The company’s share price briefly had its biggest one-day drop since the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, falling as much as 13.5 percent early on Monday on fears that two crashes in such a short time could reveal flaws in the new plane.
Some investors saw that dip as an opportunity to buy Boeing shares, which have tripled in value over the past three years, sparking a recovery. The shares closed down 5.3 percent at $400.01. They hit a record high of $446 last week.
The United Nations is “united in grief” in the aftermath of an Ethiopian plane crash that killed at least 21 staff workers from at least five UN agencies, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres says.
The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet, shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, has been a catastrophe for the world’s humanitarian community. In addition to the 21 victims from UN agencies, many other workers from private relief agencies were among the 157 passengers and crew who were killed in the crash.
Flights between Addis Ababa and Nairobi are often filled with staff from humanitarian organizations, since both cities are major hubs and regional centres for UN agencies, private relief groups, diplomatic offices and other international missions.
Jessica Hyba, a longtime worker at the UN refugee agency UNHCR and previously at CARE Canada, was one of 18 Canadians who died in the crash. She had been the senior external relations officer at the Mogadishu office of UNHCR and was among three workers at the agency who died.
Among the other relief agencies whose staff died in the plane crash were CARE, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, the Red Cross of Norway, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Italian humanitarian agency Africa Tremila, and a number of human rights and civil society organizations.
Many were attending the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, which began on Monday morning with a moment of silence for the victims as the assembly’s flags were lowered to half-mast.
Danielle Moore, a 24-year-old Canadian who worked for a Winnipeg charitable organization, was travelling to Nairobi to attend the UN Environment Assembly when she died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
“The global tragedy has hit close to home, and the UN is united in grief,” Mr. Guterres said at the opening of a UN women’s conference in New York on Monday.
He said the UN victims “all had one thing in common: the spirit to serve the world and to make it a better place for all.”
Among the UN agencies that lost staff in the crash are the World Food Program, UNHCR, the UN Environment Program, the International Telecommunications Union, and the International Organization for Migration.
Seven staff workers of the World Food Program were among those who died. “Each of these WFP colleagues were willing to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to help make the world a better place to live,” WFP executive director David Beasley said in a statement. “That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the WFP family.”
Catholic Relief Services said four of its staff members were killed in the crash. The four were Ethiopians who were travelling to Nairobi to attend training.