A brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 belonging to Ethiopian Airlines on a flight from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to Nairobi in Kenya crashed. There were 157 people on board and the pilot reported to air traffic controllers about some technical difficulties. The pilot had adequate experience and asked for clearance to return to base. He got permission but within six minutes of takeoff, ground control lost contact with the aircraft and it crashed.

New Zealand Herald reports Ethiopian Airlines had procured the aircraft only recently and the pilot had more than 8,000 hours flying experience behind him.

This crash is similar to an earlier crash of October in Jakarta involving the same type of aircraft. It belonged to Lion Air and the crash killed all 189 people on board the aircraft. These have raised concerns about the safety aspects of the aircraft.

Loss of a second Boeing 737 MAX 8 is serious

The new Boeing 737 is the latest from the Boeing family to join service and it first flew less than two years ago.

However, two major disasters to Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines within two years is a matter of concern. Both the airlines had strong safety records and while the former crashed 13 minutes after takeoff, the latter crashed just six minutes into its journey. Efforts must be made to retrieve the black boxes (flight data recorders) and their data analyzed to establish probable reasons.

New Zealand Herald goes on to add that Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines confirmed there were no problems noticed during routine maintenance checks.

Hence, it will not be easy to assign any reason for the tragedy. He told reporters - "It is a brand-new aeroplane with no technical remarks, flown by a senior pilot and there is no cause that we can attribute at this time." In the opinion of experts, it is necessary to ground all fleets until the fault is established and rectified.

Crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing

According to BBC, the aircraft took off from Addis Ababa with 149 passengers and eight crewmembers on board. It was flight ET302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya and nobody survived the crash. During a news conference, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the passengers hailed from more than 30 countries and some of them were going to a session of the UN Environment Assembly slated to begin in Nairobi on Monday.

Ethiopia declared Monday a national day of mourning and world leaders like Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, UK PM Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron and the UN secretary-general have sent their condolences.