The plane, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 with flight number ET 302, lost contact at 08.44 am local time soon after taking off, at 08:38 am local time, from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital, the airline said in a statement.
No one survived the crash, according to the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC). Ethiopian Airlines has yet to confirm the number of casualties, its spokesperson told CNN.
The aircraft went down around Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa. The airline believes there were 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the airline said in a statement.
The airline added that a passenger information center and hotline “will be available shortly for family
or friends of those who may have been on flight.”
The Ethiopian government expressed its “deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” the office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter.
Ethiopian Airlines has gained the reputation of being one of the best airlines in Africa. It has a good safety record and the newest fleet of planes on the African continent, according to its website.
Boeing has just tweeted: “Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation.”
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed soon after takeoff from Jakarta in 2018 — killing 189 people
But Geoffrey Thomas, the editor in chief of Airline Ratings, told CNN the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday had “significant differences” to the Lion Air crash last year. On the Lion Air flight, there were “wild fluctuations in air speed and… we continued to get data from the plane all the way down to impact.”
Sunday’s crash, however, had “no fluctuations and all of the sudden transmission” ceased, he said. “That transmission ceasing indicates catastrophic failure in air.”
The aerospace giant tweeted addressed the Ethiopian Airlines accident on Twitter. “Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation,” it wrote.
It has now been confirmed that All passengers on board an Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed shortly after take-off on Sunday have died, the airline says.
It said 149 passengers and eight crew members were believed to be on flight ET302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya.
The airline added that there were 33 different nationalities on board.
The crash happened at 08.44 local time, six minutes after the flight took-off from the Ethiopian capital.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident.