Ethiopian Airline executive strongly protests Lebanon's claims as claims today by the Lebanese government that their pilot took off in the wrong direction from the Beirut airport.
Girma Wake, chief executive officer of Ethiopia's most successful government-run corporation and one of Africa's best airlines, called the Lebanese government statements "irresponsible, illegal and technically unsound."
Girma told VOA's Henok Fente that no one can determine what caused the accident until the two black boxes are recovered from the 737-800 plane that plunged into the Mediterranean early Monday morning. Wake said one records conversation between pilot and air traffic controller and the other records the plane's flight pattern.
There are no indications any of the 90 board survived. Twenty-six were Ethiopians, many of them returning from jobs in Beirut.
The airline's chief pilot also said reports that the plane was in the air five minutes before crashing 3.5 kilometers from the airport are impossible to tell before the black boxes are found.