- REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
- Pilots are joining airlines in demanding compensation from Boeing over its 737 Max crisis.
- More than 400 pilots are sueing Boeing, accusing Boeing of an “unprecedented coverup” and citing lost wages as a result of the plane’s grounding.
- Southwest Airlines pilots are also seeking compensation from Boeing, CNBC reported, over lost wages and legal fees due to the 737 Max crisis.
- The pilots join a growing list of airlines from around the world that want compensation or amending orders as Boeing’s crisis continues, even as some of them continue to express support for the manufacturer.
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Several hundred pilots have joined a growing list of carriers in looking for compensation from Boeing as the 737 Max plane remains grounded around the world following two fatal crashes.
More than 400 737 Max pilots have launched a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer, accusing it of an “unprecedented” cover-up of “know design flaws” in the plane, and saying that they have lost wages and experienced career uncertainty because of the plane’s grounding.
CNBC also reported that Southwest Airlines pilots are seeking compensation from Boeing because of lost wages and legal fees in complying with the Department of Justice’s investigation into how the plane was certified to fly.
The pilots join airlines in the US, Europe, China, and around the world that have reacted to the crashes or the wait for Boeing the plane to return to service by cancelling or amending orders, or looking for compensation.
Here is the full list of airlines:
- Qatar Airways: The airline’s CEO told Reuters that the airline needs compensation because Air Italy, which is serves as a major shareholder for, had to ground its 737 Max planes.
- Xiamen Airlines and Fuzhou Airlines: The airlines want compensation for economic losses they have incurred since grounding the plane in March, and for delayed deliveries of more planes, according to state-aligned Chinese outlet the Global Times reported.
- Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines: The airlines are asking for compensation for losses after the grounding of the planes and delayed deliveries of new Max planes.
- Ryanair: The budget airline’s CEO said he wants compensation for the delays, but said his company still has confidence in Boeing.
- Turkish Airlines: The airline’s chairman said he expects compensation from Boeing and would talk with the manufacturer about its orders.
- FlyDubai: FlyDubai’s chairman said in April that the airline has the “right” to ask for compensation and could replace its order for Max jets with an order from Airbus, Boeing’s European rival, amid uncertainty over when the Max will fly again.
- Norwegian Air: Norwegian said in March that it was seeking compensation from Boeing for its grounded fleets.
- Southwest: Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chief executive, said the airline would talk to Boeing “privately” about arrangements, The Financial Times reported, though he told Bloomberg that it was “premature” to talk about what compensation it was seeking.
- United Airlines: United’s chief financial officer said in April that the airline would discuss compensation with Boeing over the grounding of the planes.
- Garuda: Indonesia’s flagship airline asked to cancel a $5 billion order for 737 Max planes because passengers “lost trust and no longer have the confidence” in the plane.
Boeing’s Max planes were grounded around the world after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed in March, killing all 157 people on board. The plane was the second Max to crash in less than five months, following a Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia killing the 189 people on board in October 2018.
Boeing has completed a software update for the Max, which will undergo scrutiny from the US Federal Aviation Administration and regulators around the world before the plane can return to the skies.
But the groundings, delayed deliveries of new Max planes, and continuing uncertainty over when the plane will be able to return to service has led airlines to cancel months of flights and warn of hits to their profits.
European and US airlines have warned that they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars over the crisis. Southwest, which has the largest 737 Max fleet in the world, said it lost $200 million in the first three months of 2019 due to cancellations caused by the grounding of the plane and the government shutdown.
- Xinhua/ via Getty Images
The crisis cost Boeing itself $1 billion in the first quarter of 2019, and it also faces lawsuits from victims’ families and from shareholders and federal investigations into how the plane got certified in addition to the airlines’ demands.
Boeing has promised that the plane will be one of the “safest ever to fly” when it returns to service and that the company will “earn and re-earn” flyers’ trust. It said that it is working closely regulators and with airlines and pilots to provide additional training.
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