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Southwest Pilots Hit Boeing with Lawsuit Over 737 Max Grounding and Crashes

— October 21, 2019

The Southwest Airlines Pilot Association is suing the Boeing Company for $100 million over lost income related to the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft.

The Boeing Company is under fire in a $100 million lawsuit recently filed by the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association. The suit was filed over lost income related to the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. According to the lawsuit, Southwest is the “largest owner of 737 MAX airplanes and has canceled more than 30,000 flights since the FAA grounded the aircraft in March after two crashes killed 346 people.”

Boeing plant in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Boeing plant in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania; image courtesy of Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons,

About 10,000 pilots are represented by the Southwest Pilot Association that is led by union president Captain Jonathan Weaks. In a statement regarding the suit, Weaks said, “we have to be able to trust Boeing to truthfully disclose the information we need to safely operate our aircraft. In the case of the 737 MAX, that absolutely did not happen.”

Negotiations between the union and Boeing have been going on since September, but so far they haven’t been productive in reaching an agreement.

The suit itself was filed in federal court in Dallas and specifically accuses Boeing of “rushing the redesigned 737 to market, prioritizing the company’s profits over safety and sound design and engineering practices.” It further states, “Boeing withheld critical information from regulators and deliberately mislead its customers, pilots, and the public and the true scope of the design changes to the 737 Max.”

So how has Boeing responded to the allegations? Well, so far the company issued the following statement:

Boeing has the greatest respect for the men and women who fly for Southwest Airlines…We believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it. We will continue to work with Southwest Airlines and its pilots on efforts to safely return the MAX to service.”

For those who don’t know, 189 people were killed last October when Lion Air Flight 610 unexpectedly crashed into the Java Sea a mere 13 minutes into the flight. Then, earlier this year on March 10, 157 people were killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed six minutes after takeoff. According to the investigation, the passengers on the flight “endured the same terrifying roller-coaster flight path before crashing as the Indonesian plane.” Shortly after the deadly accident, aviation authorities “around the world began grounding the 737 Max.”

At the moment, Boeing is working on a software fix for the planes that will have to be reviewed and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Additionally, the airline will update all pilot training materials. With all the changes and software upgrades, Boeing expects the grounded planes to be recertified in the fourth quarter.


Southwest Airlines Pilots Sue Boeing Over 737 Max Crashes And Grounding

Southwest Airlines pilots sue Boeing over 737 Max grounding

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