Officials confirm: No survivors on downed Ethiopian Airlines jet

Aviation Updates Philippines – Authorities confirmed an air crash around Bishoftu, Ethiopia involving a relatively new Boeing 737 MAX 8 (ET-AVJ) operating as Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Sunday morning (East Africa Time).
DEBRIS FOUND ON SITE. First photos from the crash site show debris with a familiar color scheme and structure that resembles that of the airline's Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photo from Reuters.
On-board are 149 passengers and eight crew members flying to Nairobi on the aircraft. According to Ethiopia's state-owned media, an unidentified spokesperson from Ethiopia Airlines confirmed that there are no survivors among all the 33 nationalities found from the crash site. 

The flight departed from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at around 8:38am (EAT) from Runway 07R. As the aircraft was climbing out from the airport, it leveled off at around 8,600 feet until it lost contact three minutes after take-off.

The airline's recent press conference revealed that the pilots of the flight requested to return to the airfield because of technical problems. They told the air traffic controller at Bole that they are having a 'difficulty' and had received clearance.

“[The] plane had more than three hours of ground time after coming from South Africa, it arrived with no remark and was dispatched with no remark,” an airline representative told the media.

Based from initial ADS-B data presented by, the Boeing aircraft was flying at a recorded speed of 383 knots at 8,600 feet (the moment it lost contact) flying 86 degrees east. It is important to note that commercial aircraft are prohibited to exceed 250 knots while flying below 10,000 feet.

At 11:00am (EAT), the airline management acknowledged the crash and posted its first accident bulletin. It stated that search and rescue operations were already in progress and that it is already establishing a unified passenger information center for the relatives.

Boeing released a statement regarding the crash at 7:22pm (local time) on Twitter.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team."

A technical team from Boeing is ready to be dispatched at the request or order of the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam visited the crash site to personally survey the accident scene. The airline released photos of the CEO at the site on their Facebook page.

CEO AT THE CRASH SITE. Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam surveyed the crash site personally to check for survivors and to assess the scene. Photo from Ethiopian Airlines.
Mr. Tewolde, while at the crash site, told the media through the airline's second accident bulletin that there are no survivors. He expressed his deep condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families in this tragic and unfortunate event.