Boeing executives say sorry after Ethiopia and Indonesia crashes

Boeing executives have apologised to the families of those who died in two 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Kevin McAllister, the CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, told reporters at the Paris Air Show that the firm was “very sorry for the loss of lives” in the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March, both involving Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft.

Everyone on board both planes died - a total of 346 people.

Everyone on board both planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia was killed. Credit: AP

Mr McAllister also said he was sorry for the disruption to airlines from the subsequent grounding of all Max planes worldwide, and to their passengers who are planning to travel over the summer.

He stressed that Boeing is working hard to learn from what went wrong, but would not say when the plane could fly again.

Other Boeing executives also stressed the company’s focus on safety and condolences to victims’ families.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 has been grounded. Credit: AP

Greg Smith, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Performance and Strategy, said: "The tragedy of Lion Air and Ethiopian accidents certainly weighs on all of us and words simply cannot express the sorrow and the sympathy that we feel for the families and the loved ones of those that were lost in these tragic accidents.

"These accidents have only intensified our efforts to ensure the highest level of safety and quality in everything we do."

Angle-measuring sensors in both planes are known to have malfunctioned, alerting anti-stall software to push the noses of the planes down.

The pilots were unable to take back control of the aircraft in both cases.

Investigations into the malfunctions are under way.

The world’s aviation elite are gathering at the Paris Air Show with safety concerns on many minds after the two 737 Max crashes.

The global economic slowdown and trade tensions between the US and other powers are also weighing on the event at Le Bourget airfield.

It is not clear when the Boeing Max planes will fly again. Credit: AP

Boeing had earlier said the company is heading into the show with “humility” after the crashes.

Its rival Airbus is expecting some big orders despite a slow sales year so far, and is likely to unveil its long-range A320 XLR.

The event will also showcase electric planes, pilotless air taxis and other cutting-edge technology.