Forensic DNA work for identifications of the remains recovered so far has not yet begun, Asrat said. The dead came from 35 countries.
Bernstein Research analyst Daniel Roeska said the airline may lose around 400,000 Norwegian krone (€ 41,000, $46,000) per 737 MAX per day if it's forced to keep the planes grounded for a prolonged period of time.
On Wednesday afternoon, Canada's transportation minister grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, leaving the United States and its carriers as the last major users of the aircraft. But October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia sparked a debate on automation, particularly over a software system created to push the plane down to stop a stall during flight.
But the pilot had reported difficulties and asked to return to Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines has said.
Though there is no evidence of links, the twin disasters have spooked passengers worldwide, led to the grounding of most of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft, and sending shares in the world's biggest planemaker plunging.
The question then arises: if this latest crash is proven to have been caused by the aircraft's systems doing just that, did the pilots apply the checklist procedure?
"You can't remove 5 percent of your fleet and not have something go wrong, but Southwest has dealt with plenty of cancellations because of mechanical problems and bad weather without too much of an overall impact", Kaplan said.More news: Faulty airbag parts prompt Honda to re-recall 1 million cars
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China led the way in grounding the jets in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, with the European Union following suit, followed by a number of airlines across the world.
Southwest is the world's largest operator of the 737 MAX 8 with 34 jets, while American flies 24 MAX 8s and United 14 MAX 9s. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft. The biggest impact could be on future deliveries given Boeing has almost 5,000 more 737 Max planes on order. Lion Air confirmed reports it has put on hold the scheduled delivery of four of the jets.
Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers.
Jamaica has announced a temporary restriction on the controversial Boeing 737-8 Max and 737-9 Max aircraft from entering its airspace.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a review had showed "no systemic performance issues" and that there was no basis for grounding the aircraft. "We'll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets", the statement said.
Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in this crash could take months.
Lawmakers have also called for the planes to be grounded.
Tewolde said the aircraft was "totally sunken under the ground".
More devastated relatives of victims arrived at the crash site Wednesday, some supported by loved ones and wailing. The plane plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.