Kenya Airways considers Airbus switch after Ethiopia crash


Kenya Airways Plc has said it is reconsidering early-stage plans to buy Boeing 737 Max aircraft following last week’s crash in Ethiopia.

The airline, which is the third-largest carrier in sub-Saharan Africa, could turn to planes from Airbus or move for larger Boeing jets, such as the 787 Dreamliner, amid safety concerns over the 737 Max airplanes.

Kenya reconsiders 737 plans

While the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash remains unknown, it was the second incident involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in the space of five months. All 157 people on board Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 were killed on Sunday when the Boeing aircraft plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff.

The incident followed the crash of a Lion Air flight in October that killed all 189 people on board after a Boeing 737 Max 8 plunged into the Java sea shortly after taking off.

Numerous airlines around the world have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8s in the wake of Sunday’s crash and the European Union Aviation Agency has suspended all flights using the aircraft while investigations are ongoing. Meanwhile, Lion Air has already said it plans to drop a $22 billion order for the jet in favour of models made by rival Airbus.

Aviation authorities have said the Boeing jets are safe to fly and investigations into the Ethiopian Airlines incident are yet to reveal any common link between the two crashes. However, Ethiopian Airlines has said it sees substantial similarities between the two incidents.

Featured image: “5Y-KZC Boeing 787 Kenya Airways” flickr photo by markyharky shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.