Boeing Sued By Southwest Pilots Assn

28 2019 Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked on the tarmac after being grounded at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville Calif

SWAPA had included the MAX in its collective bargaining agreement and the lawsuit says the grounding causing SWAPA pilots to lose millions of dollars each month because the plane was removed from Southwest's flight schedule.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) said on Monday it had filed a lawsuit against Boeing Co alleging that the planemaker "deliberately misled" the airline and pilots about its 737 MAX aircraft.

The budget friendly carrier had 41 more Max jets on order for this year alone, but deliveries remain frozen, forcing more than 100 daily flight cancellations and reduced flying time for pilots.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that it has a "transparent and collaborative relationship" with other civil aviation authorities as it continues its 737 MAX safety review, while its European Union counterpart said it was in "continuous contact" with both the FAA and Boeing.

Southwest Airlines 737 MAX aircraft at Victorville, California. In the most recent quarter, Boeing reported its largest loss ever - a $3.7 billion adjusted loss - as a result of the grounding.

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.

"Boeing has the greatest respect for the men and women who fly for Southwest Airlines", Boeing said in a statement. We believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it.

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The crashes forced Boeing to undergo a rocky recertification process for the plane, and pushed the Federal Aviation Administration to review its process for approving planes for flight.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver updated software and training to regulators in order for the aircraft to fly again, and has been negotiating compensation with customers like Southwest over the financial hit from the grounding.

The FAA has previously signaled it could certify the MAX before the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and other bodies but the report briefly dented Boeing shares on Tuesday.

It said this was expected to reduce the airline's passenger service by 8 percent by the end of 2019.

But the move could set the stage for lawsuits from other airlines' pilots, as the grounding was felt widely across the industry. Kelly has said he hopes to share any compensation with employees as the airline's profit sharing will be down this year due to the flight cutbacks. American had previously made a decision to drop a route entirely as result of the grounding. American Airlines Group and United Airlines have canceled 737 MAX flights through part of December.

"We are very confident in that software solution, and we are now just marching through the final steps on certifying that, so that everybody's confident in the safety of the airplane", he said at a public appearance in NY.

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