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The black boxes from Sunday's plane crash in Ethiopia could be sent to a "closer country in Europe" rather than the United States for analysis, the chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines told CNN on Wednesday.

Asked whether the voice and data recorders from Flight ET 302, which crashed outside Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board, would be taken to the United States, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said it had not been decided.

CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam

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He added: "It could also be sent to a closer country in Europe in the interest of proximity and in the interest of speed."

The pilots of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight told air traffic control they were having “flight control problems” before the crash, GebreMariam told CNN’s Richard Quest on Tuesday.

Pilots were aware of airworthiness directive issued after the Lion Air crash in October and had had additional training, he said.

British body says has not been asked to take Ethiopia black boxes

Britain's Air Accident Investigation Branch said on Wednesday it had not received any request to analyse the black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, whose crash on Sunday prompted a number of countries to ground Boeing's 737 MAX planes.

In Ethiopia, which lacks forensic expertise, Ethiopian Airlines said the black box voice and data recorders recovered on Monday would be sent overseas for analysis. That could be in Europe, the state company's CEO told CNN.

"No approach has been made for the AAIB to handle the black boxes," a spokesman for the British body, a leading contender to examine the boxes if they are analysed outside the United States. "A decision to request that would need to come from the Ethiopian authorities."

- With inputs from Reuters and CNN