World News

Southwest Airlines Pilots Sue Boeing Over 737 Max Crashes And Grounding

Southwest Airlines Pilots Sue Boeing Over 737 Max Crashes And Grounding

The complaint alleges Boeing chose to "rush" the 737 MAX to market for the sake of profits and in doing so, "abandoned sound design and engineering practices, withheld safety information from regulators and deliberately misled its customers, pilots and the public" about design changes from previous versions of the 737 aircraft. Boeing claimed the aircraft was "airworthy" and the same as the 737 pilots had flown for years but that representation was false, SWAPA wrote. As such, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said the planes' grounding has cost its pilots more than $100 million in lost income, which it wants Boeing to pay.

SWAPA says the aircraft's grounding has caused the cancellation of over 30,000 scheduled Southwest flights, with a loss of pilot compensation of over USD$100 million.

Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said: "While we value our long relationship with SWAPA, we believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it".

Separately, a $50 million (40.9 million pounds) Boeing assistance fund that announced September 23 it would pay each family $144,500 in the two deadly crashes has already paid three of the five claims submitted to date, the fund's co-administrator, Camille Biros, told Reuters on Monday.

He said it is "critical" that Boeing takes whatever time is necessary to safely return the MAX to service, but added that pilots "should not be expected to take a significant and ever-expanding financial loss as a result of Boeing's negligence".

More news: EU's Tusk accuses Johnson of 'stupid' Brexit blame game

In the third quarter, Boeing delivered 63 jetliners, down from 190 jet shipments a year earlier.

Regulators sought to play down talk of transatlantic divisions over safety changes to the 737 MAX, which was grounded worldwide in March after two crashes killed 346 people within five months.

Other factors could still support Dreamliner production, from the end of Airbus's A380 superjumbo jet to a potential trade deal that restarts Boeing's sales in China.

In both crashes, pilots had difficulty controlling the plane once the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) anti-stall handling system was activated, according to preliminary investigations. The union charged that Boeing abandoned good design practices and withheld key safety information from regulators in its rush to get the plane on the market.

The statement on deliveries came as Boeing faced fresh questions on its chances for winning regulatory approval in 2019 to resume flights on the MAX. American Airlines Group and United Airlines have cancelled MAX flights through part of December.


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