They have over 100 aircraft in their fleet, including a handful of newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8s.
The investigations into the cause of the incident will reportedly be carried out by a committee formed by the airline, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, as well as the Ethiopian Transport Authority.
"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world", Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters while visiting the crash site.
"The aircraft B-737-800max with registration number ET-AVJ took off at 08:38am local time from Addis Ababa".
Kenya's transport secretary James Macharia told reporters that he could confirm there were nationals from at least 35 different countries on board, including seven passengers from the United Kingdom and one from Ireland.
Cayman Airways said in a statement that it has grounded its two 737 MAX 8 planes "until more information is received". The dead included people from at least 35 nationalities.
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 plane flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, carrying 157 people crashes this morning around Dobi area east of Bishoftu town in Oromia region of Ethiopia.
After learning the crash, the ministry ordered China's embassy in Ethiopia to launch the emergency response and immediately contact the Ethiopian government and Ethiopian Airlines for further information, Lu said.
There were 149 passengers and eight crew on board at the time.
The 737 Max 8 had not had any apparent mechanical issues on an earlier flight from Johannesburg, he said. The statement gave no details.
Ethiopian Airlines has commenced search and rescue efforts following a plane crash of one of its flights bound for Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday.
The flight had been en route to Nairobi from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and came down 30 miles from the airport, report Mirror Online.