SHOULD PASSENGERS BE WARRY OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES?
On Tuesday this week, an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft was engulfed in yet another accident after suffering a runway excursion at Juba International Airport. Fortunately, none of the passengers aboard was injured. Pictures circulated on social media indicated some damages on the landing gear and fuselage. It remained unclear whether the aircraft had a technical fault, which was not checked prior to the takeoff, or it was because of the slippery runway surface seeded by wet conditions as claimed by some officials. It is also shocking when such an alarming incident occurred, there was no official communication by the Airlines to the public and this annoyed some friends and relatives of the passengers. The good news is that the airport authorities are demanding full details of what happened, and we hope their effort would help establish the exact cause of the incident. Ethiopian is an award-winning aviation company known for the quality services it delivers at international standard, and this has won the confidence of global passengers in choosing the Airlines. However, that confidence started fading in March this year when Boeing 737 Max 8 crushed after a few distance above the ground upon takeoff, killing all 149 passengers aboard. It was the second time in six months the type of jet crashed in the first few minutes of flight after the similar incident was reported in Indonesia in October 2018. That occurrence raised questions about the safety of the plane and consequently, Boeing which entered service in May 2017 was grounded globally. As Ethiopian recovered from that reputational road-kill, similar questions pertaining to its safety guarantee have resurfaced among passengers after the runway excursion in Juba. Flightradar24, a Swedish internet-based service that shows real-time commercial aircraft flight information on a map showed the status of the flight which suffered the runway excursion as ‘unknown’.