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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Comes Off Runway In Addis Ababa

August 28, 2019

Yesterday, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 was involved in a peculiar incident as it veered off the runway after landing at Addis Ababa. Flight ET-307 was left with no major damage after wet conditions affected its passage down the runway.

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 at Addis Ababa
There was little, if any, damage to the aircraft after landing. Photo: airbus777 via Flickr

Having flown from Nairobi, Kenya, flight ET-307 landed in Addis Ababa yesterday at 18:20 UTC.

As reported by The Aviation Herald, the runway surface at Addis Ababa was wet, causing the aircraft to experience difficulties whilst decelerating down the runway.

Flight data shows that the aircraft landed at a speed of around 155 knots and traveled down the runway until it crossed the displaced threshold. It then veered to the right before coming to a stop 670 feet from the end of the runway.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident and the aircraft did not sustain any notable damage. As of yet Ethiopian Airlines has not been available to respond to Simple Flying’s request for comment on the incident.

Ethiopian Airlines’ incidents over the past year

While the exact cause of this latest incident involving one of Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737s remains unclear for now, the wet runway appears to have played a role.

An Ethiopian Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner at Los Angeles International Airport.
An Ethiopian Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr

But wet weather was not to blame when another Ethiopian Airlines 737-800 overran the runway while landing at Entebbe International Airport earlier in the year. The incident, which happened back in January, saw one of Ethiopian Airlines’ 737-800s come to a halt some 125 meters past the end of the runway at Uganda’s principal airport.

There was also the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 just two months later, which killed all 157 on board. This crash is still currently under investigation, but it spurred the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX due to concerns about the MCAS software installed on the aircraft.

Yesterday’s incident appears to have been much more circumstantial, but Ethiopian Airlines will no doubt be keen to find out what exactly went wrong.

Africa’s largest airline

As Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian airlines holds an impressive standing on its own continent. But it’s by no means limited to just Africa. Ethiopian Airlines has been continuing an impressive international expansion campaign this summer.

A Boeing 777-200 getting ready for takeoff in Toronto
Ethiopian Airlines hasn’t been held back by the crash of flight 302. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr

Despite the tragic loss of flight 302 back in March, the carrier has announced a number of new international of the past couple of months. This includes a new Addis Ababa to Houston via Lome, Togo, route which will commence on 15 December. Flights from Addis Ababa to Marseille via Milan also began back in July.

In January Ethiopian Airlines opened its brand new, $363 million, Chinese Funded terminal at Addis Ababa.

This statement of intent will surely worry Africa’s other airlines, who are significantly behind Ethiopian in terms of passengers and profits.

Ethiopian Airlines has almost twice as many aircraft as its largest African competitor, Egyptair. With 107 aircraft to Egyptair’s 57, Ethiopian Airlines is much better poised to capitalize both domestically and internationally.

It’s a real African success story which doesn’t look set to end any time soon, so let’s hope further small incidents don’t get in the way.

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