Ethiopian Airlines said passengers from at least 35 countries were on the flight.
A Greek man would have been the 150th passenger on the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing plane that crashed killing all on board, except he arrived two minutes late for the flight.
The crash has led to questions about Boeing's new 737 MAX 8 jet, which was also involved in the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people last October.
He said satellite data suggested similarities between the flight profiles of the Ethiopian jet and that of a Lion Air plane of the same type that crashed in Indonesia previous year.
Ethiopian Airlines did not immediately respond to questions about whether its 737 Max 8 pilots received any additional training in the wake of the Lion Air crash and the Boeing announcement.
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The ill-fated flight was packed with humanitarian workers and worldwide experts, many of whom were bound for a major United Nations environmental summit in the Kenyan capital. "The pilots were well briefed on the air ordinance filed", he said.
The black boxes from the crash have been recovered and an airline spokesman said they would be sent to Germany for analysis.
Boeing has said it has full confidence in the 737 MAX - a model that has 371 jets in operation around the world.
"South Africa, through its task team comprising all relevant state-owned entities and agencies, will collaborate with the Ethiopian counterparts to offer any necessary assistance or skill sets to ensure that there is a speedy conclusion of the investigation into this crash", spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said in a statement on Tuesday.
The CEO, however, admitted that the similarities between the two crashes were glaring, considering both planes were new and they both crashed moments after take-off. 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.
Bodies aboard the fatal Ethiopian Airlines plane may take days to identify, officials say.