Southwest Airlines Pilots Sue Boeing Over 737 MAX
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for “deliberately misleading” the airline and its pilots about the 737 MAX.
The lawsuit alleges that SWAPA pilots agreed to fly the 737 MAX aircraft based on Boeing’s representations that it was airworthy and essentially the same as previous 737 aircraft that pilots have flown for years.
SWAPA says the representations were false and that Boeing’s errors cost the lives of 346 passengers in two crashes.
“As pilots, there is nothing more important to us than the safety of our passengers,” SWAPA president Captain Jonathan 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.”
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.
“It is critical that Boeing takes whatever time is necessary to safely return the MAX to service,” SWAPA’s Weaks said. “Our pilots should not be expected to take a significant and ever-expanding financial loss as a result of Boeing’s negligence.”
“We look forward to a solution that helps Boeing restore the confidence of both the flying public and the pilots who operate its aircraft.”
Southwest is the largest operator of the Boeing 737 MAX, with 34 in service at the time of the worldwide grounding of the type in March. The Dallas-based airline has removed the MAX from its flight schedules until January at the earliest.