TUI Airways are still flying the same model of aircraft involved in the Ethiopian Airways crash

An airline operating out of Leeds Bradford Airport is the only UK carrier to fly the same model of jet involved in a deadly crash in Africa this week.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 3:03 pm
A TUI Airways aircraft

Airlines all over the world have grounded their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes until further notice following fears over its safety record.

Airlines continue to fly Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets despite fatal crashHowever, British holiday airline TUI, which has six MAX 8 jets, has not taken the aircraft out of service.

TUI, formerly Thomsonfly, flies to Corfu and Majorca from Leeds Bradford Airport and also operates chartered cruise flights. Six destinations - Antalya, Burgas, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Paphos, and Rhodes - were cancelled for the 2019 season just before Christmas.The airline specialises in European package holidays and short-haul trips.

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157 people were killed when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed just minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi on Sunday. The aircraft was just a few months old. The model has only been in service since 2017, but was also involved in another fatal accident last October in Indonesia, when an internal Lion Air flight crashed near Jakarta, killing 189.

Norwegian, which has several routes from UK airports, has also kept its MAX 8 aircraft flying although they are in close contact with Boeing regarding developments.

A spokeswoman for TUI Airways said:-

"TUI Airways remain in close contact with the manufacturer and regulatory authorities and we have no indication that we cannot safely operate our 737 MAX aircraft. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff remains our primary concern."

A dual British-Kenyan citizen from Hull, former probation officer Joseph Waithaka, 55, was among those killed in the Ethiopian crash. He had moved back to Kenya but his wife and two children still live in Hull.