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Boeing 'is not a trustworthy company anymore'

Zipporah Kuria
Image caption Zipporah Kuria met with the European Aviation Safety Agency about the Boeing 737 Max

Boeing is not a trustworthy company anymore, according to Zipporah Kuria, whose father was killed when a 737 Max plane crashed earlier this year.

Ms Kuria, who met with Europe's aviation watchdog on Wednesday, said: "I wouldn't even use the word trust anywhere near Boeing."

Boeing is fighting for its reputation while the 737 Max remains grounded.

A company spokesman said: "The safety of passengers and crews flying on our aircraft is our absolute priority."

He said: "We are truly sorry and we continue to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends who lost loved ones in the accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

"We know we have a deep responsibility to everyone who flies on our airplanes to ensure that the 737 Max is one of the safest aircraft ever to fly."

Ms Kuria met with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) along with other family members who lost loved ones, to gain reassurances that the Boeing 737 Max will not return to the skies until rigorous tests are carried out.

The British woman's father, Joseph Waithaka, died with 156 others on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March.

It was the second crash involving a Boeing 737 Max following the Lion Air disaster in Indonesia which killed all 189 people onboard.

"They are not trustworthy anymore - if they had been in the past," Ms Kuria said.

She said the EASA's executive director Patrick Ky had reassured her that "he would not be caving" to either the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US regulator, or Boeing in terms of reclassifying whether the 737 Max is safe for European air travel.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Boeing will temporarily stop making the 737 Max in January

Boeing is hoping that the FAA will allow the Max back into the air in the early part of next year but the FAA's close relationship with Boeing has been under intense scrutiny.

It recently emerged that the FAA allowed the 737 Max to keep flying after the first disaster in October last year despite knowing there was a risk of further crashes.

Ms Kuria said: "I think the more discovery is done, the more reason we are finding not to trust [Boeing] when it comes to the 737 Max.

"There are so many things that were hidden that shouldn't have been, so many things that were bypassed that shouldn't have been and I think every time we sit down and have a hearing or hear from an aviation authority on documents of discovery we just find out how preventable the death of our loved ones was."

Mr Ky said that the European regulator will "take their time to recertify" the plane.

Ms Kuria also said her safety concerns not only relate to the plane's automated flight control system which malfunctioned before both crashes but other critical safety systems on board the 737 Max.

During the meeting, EASA said "they would reassess all the critical safety systems that are on the 737 Max", according to Ms Kuria.

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