Ethiopian Strongly Refutes the Misleading Article on the Daily Star News - 14 February, 2011

The long awaited progress report on the investigation of the ET409 accident has finally been made public in a press conference held by the Lebanese care taker Minister of Transport and Public Works.

The Daily Star newspaper dated February 14, 2011 carried an article on the ET 409 accident investigation progress report with incorrect and misleading statements by saying that “…the pilot had received all three alerts…before his plane fell from the sky.” In a futile and biased effort to attribute the cause of the accident to the pilots, the Daily Star has detailed the warnings given by the cockpit instruments and enumerated the number of such warnings received by the captain before the accident. This however does not tell why the aircraft behaved the way it behaved or why the captain could not turn the aircraft to its normal position despite all his efforts. What possible internal and/or external interferences could have forced the aircraft to behave as extremely strangely as it did is a crucial subject of the analysis stage of the investigation which would be uncovered in the next six months by the investigation team. A lot remains to be explained during the technical review by the team which will be preceded by completing the remaining crucial data.

The investigation team has many tasks to perform in the coming six months to complete the factual data collection, analysis of the facts, and conclusion of probable causes and making recommendations.

Ethiopian Airlines will continue to work with the investigation team and continue to cooperate in the investigation process to uncover the true probable causes of the accident.

However; we strongly advise some media channels like the Daily Star to refrain from misleading the public with factually incorrect statements.

We take this opportunity to thank the families and friends of the victims for their patience and cooperation until the investigation is completed.

About Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the addition of flight services to Maputo and Bangui, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 39 cities in Africa and a total of 60 international destinations spanning four continents.

Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and the 2009 "Airline of the Year" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). In August, 2008, Ethiopian won "the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award" of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry. Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities