Ethiopian Airlines crash relatives offered earth for ceremony

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The grounding of Boeing's 737 Max jets after the crash in Ethiopia has had no immediate financial impact on airlines using the planes, but it will get painful for the industry the longer they do not fly, companies and analysts said on Friday.

Boeing is upgrading the stall prevention software on its 737 MAX, industry sources said Friday, as French investigators scoured black box data from the latest of two deadly crashes involving the aircraft in recent months.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday followed other countries in grounding the 737 MAX, citing satellite data and evidence from the scene that indicated some similarities and "the possibility of a shared cause" with October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.

As families await results from the investigation, the airline is planning to hold a service on Sunday in Addis Ababa, at the Kidist Selassie, or Holy Trinity Cathedral, where many of Ethiopia's past rulers are buried under its pink stone spires.

An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 from San Francisco approaches for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport over a parked Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, March 13, 2019.

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Families have been told it could take up to six months to identify remains.

Death certificates are expected to be issued in two weeks.

Air Canada would face the costs of re-booking passengers after the planes were grounded, and other costs from not having scheduled access to the more efficient MAXes, said AltaCorp analyst Chris Murray.

The Ethiopian investigation into the crash is being assisted by teams from around the world, including the USA and France.

Jamaica and the United States (US) are among a growing number of countries that have banned the 737 Max 8 and 9 from flying in their air space.

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An Ethiopian delegation delivered the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, which were damaged in the disaster, to France's BEA air safety agency to begin the investigation on Friday.

"We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again", said a Boeing Company representative.

In both crashes, pilots asked to return minutes into flight.

The New York Times said the captain, Yared Getachew, initially reported a "flight control" problem in a calm voice before asking to return in panicked tones three minutes into the flight. On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all Boeing 737 Max planes used by US carriers grounded until safety concerns are addressed.

This is the 737 Max's automatic anti-stalling system which is created to keep the plane from stalling.

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He sustained a head injury, which was not believed to be serious, and was kept in hospital for treatment, the police added. Christchurch is a city of about 400,000 residents, still recovering from a massive quake in 2011 that killed 187 people.


Boeing plans to release upgraded software for its 737 Max in a week to 10 days, sources familiar with the matter said.

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