The boss of Boeing has released an open letter to airlines, passengers and the aviation sector emphasising the company’s focus on safety following grounding of 737 Max aircraft.

CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued the personal statement via a video on the company’s website following two deadly crashes in less than six months involving Max 8s.

Work is progressing “thoroughly and rapidly” to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 people on board, and understand the information from the aircraft’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

“Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it’s appropriate to release additional details,” added Muilenburg.

“Soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 Max that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident.

“We’ve been working in full co-operation with the US Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board on all issues relating to both the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airlines accidents since the Lion Air accident occurred in October last year.”

He said: “The tragic losses of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 affect us all, uniting people and nations in shared grief for all those in mourning.

“Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board.

“Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone.

“This overarching focus on safety spans and binds together our entire global aerospace industry and communities.”

Muilenburg added: “We’re united with our airline customers, international regulators and government authorities in our efforts to support the most recent investigation, understand the facts of what happened and help prevent future tragedies.

“Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we’re taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 Max.

“We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet’s grounding.”

“Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support.”