Families of British passengers killed when Boeing 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia slam ‘astonishing and deeply worrying’ decision to allow planes to resume flying in Europe
- European authorities gave permission for Boeing 737 Max to resume flying again
- Families of British victims have criticised the decision, branding it ‘astonishing’
- Fathers of victims Joanna Toole and Sam Pegram have spoken out about move
Families of British passengers killed when a Boeing 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia have slammed the ‘astonishing and deeply worrying’ decision to allow the planes to resume flying in Europe.
The victim’s loved ones have been calling for the European authorities to keep the aircraft grounded.
A total of 346 passengers and crew died when two of the aircraft operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashed in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively.
The planes were grounded around the world following the second crash, over concerns about mechanical and design problems.
European authorities gave the go ahead for Boeing 737 Max after the families of British victims in a crash in Ethiopia (pictured) called for the aircraft to be grounded
The fathers of Joanna Toole (left) and Sam Pegram (right) have slammed the authorities decision, with one branding it as ‘astonishing’
But they returned to service in the US last month, and Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (Easa), told reporters earlier this week that ‘it will be cleared to fly again’ in Europe later this month.
Relatives of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash are angry that he made the comment before an official accident report is published or Easa releases a study of the aircraft’s safety.
Adrian Toole, father of Joanna Toole, from Exmouth, Devon, who died in the crash, said: ‘Easa’s conduct is both astonishing and deeply worrying.
‘It is not in accordance with Easa’s previous assurances to us and it robs us and other interested parties of the opportunity to consider and make informed comment upon Easa’s recommendations and the logic of Easa’s decision making.
‘We believe that commercial interests are being put before safety and we call on Easa not to take short cuts before allowing this aircraft to fly again in Europe.’
Miss Toole worked with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and was on her way to an environment meeting in Nairobi.
A total of 346 passengers and crew died when two of the aircraft operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashed in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively
Adrian Toole, father of Joanna Toole (pictured), from Exmouth, Devon, who died in the crash, said the move was nott in accordance with Easa’s previous assurances to them
Mark Pegram, father of another victim, Sam Pegram, of Penwortham, Lancashire, said: ‘Why should we or anyone else not be sceptical that this aircraft is safe to fly?
‘Sam, together with everyone else on those flights deserves to be honoured – and the best way to do that is to put safety first.
‘That is why we’re calling on Easa to ensure the 737 Max remains grounded.’
Clive Garner, aviation specialist at law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing the families, said: ‘The introduction of the Boeing 737 Max was a disaster.
‘Boeing made a number of catastrophic errors and critically important information was concealed from the aviation regulators causing the loss of 346 men, women and children.
‘Those who lost loved ones rightly want to ensure that this aircraft is safe before it flies again.’
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