Civil Aviation Authority deems Boeing's planes safe, despite two recent disasters

The Civil Aviation Authority will not be taking any action regarding Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft despite two crashes in the past six months.

The government agency says it's satisfied with the steps the only operator of the plane to New Zealand, Fiji Airways, has taken to ensure it is safe.

The decision comes after 157 people died when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Monday.

Eye witnesses say the plane was trailing smoke and made a sharp turn before crashing.

"It came directly from the sky downwards... we heard a huge explosion," one said.

Within seconds of taking off for Nairobi, it was clear something was very wrong.

The pilot made an urgent distress call wanting to turn the plane around.

But then just six minutes into the journey all contact was lost - it crashed less than 50 kilometres from Addis Ababa, the city where it took off.

There were 30 nationalities on board, including two dozen UN officials, environmentalists and charity workers, on their way to a conference.

The first step of working out why they died has already been completed - both black boxes have been recovered. 

However, comparisons are already being drawn to the Lion Air 737 MAX8 plane which crashed in Indonesia in October, killing all 189 on board.

The pilots of both planes reported technical difficulties after take-off and appeared to struggle to gain altitude before making a steep nosedive, crashing in less than 15 minutes of flight.

There are 350 Boeing 737 MAX8 planes in service around the world with orders for 5000 more, making it the fastest selling aircraft in history.

Dozens of airlines have grounded their fleets, causing Boeing shares to plummet, despite the aircraft manufacturer maintaining the MAX8 is safe.

Experts agree that Boeing currently are in the clear as far as the MAX8's safety is concerned.

"There is nothing in the factual evidence so far that would support grounding the airplane, nothing," aviation expert John Goglia told Newshub.

But why an aircraft just four months old failed so catastrophically is a question the aviation world, and the world in general, needs answering.