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By Kimberly Chin
The Southwest Airlines Pilot Association has accused Boeing Co. of misleading the airline and its pilots about the safety of the 737 MAX aircraft.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a district court in Dallas, alleges that Boeing misled Southwest Airlines Co. pilots when it asserted its 737 MAX aircraft were airworthy and the same as the previous 737 aircraft models.
The nonprofit employee organization and the sole bargaining unit for Southwest Airlines pilots said those assertions were false and cost hundreds of lives, eroded the trust between pilots and passengers, and curbed opportunities for people to travel by air.
More than 30,000 scheduled flights were cancelled due to the grounding, the association said, which could lead to reduced passenger service by 8% by the end of 2019. The association estimates that pilots have lost more than $100 million in compensation from the grounding.
"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," said Jonathan Weaks, president of the association, in prepared remarks. "It is critical that Boeing takes whatever time is necessary to safely return the MAX to service."
"While we value our long relationship with SWAPA, 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," a Boeing spokesman said.
Write to Kimberly Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 07, 2019 18:22 ET (22:22 GMT)
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