Passenger Ahmed Khalid (L), who missed his Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 while connecting from Dubai, is received by his father Khalid Bzambur (R) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Ahmed Khalid missed the doomed Ethiopian airlines flight because his connection flight from Dubai was delayed and he reached Addis Ababa later than planned.

Ahmad told Global News in an interview that his flight was booked from Dubai to Addis Ababa and then from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

“Because of the delay from Dubai, I missed the first flight (From Addis Ababa to Nairobi, the ill-fated flight ET302). So, when I reached Addis Ababa, they told me to take the next flight, which is at 11 o'clock and I said 'it's fine'.”

The Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi that crashed early on Sunday carried passengers from 35 countries and there were no survivors.

Busy route

Khalid recalled the moments when the news of the crash spread: “Everyone was asking the cabin crew what was happening but no one was saying anything. They were just going up and down until one passenger saw on his mobile that the first plane which had just flew, like six minutes after it took off, just crashed."

The Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed just minutes after an early-morning takeoff Sunday from Addis Ababa.

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route links East Africa's two largest economic powers. Travelers and tour groups crowd the Addis Ababa airport's waiting areas, along with businessmen from China, Gulf nations and elsewhere.

A list of the dead released by Ethiopian Airlines included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India and Somalia. Kenya lost 32 citizens. Canada, 18. Several countries including the United States lost four or more people.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines had taken delivery of the Boeing 737-800 MAX plane on November 15. It was of the same type as a plane that crashed in October after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.