Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Boeing reports another big drop in deliveries in 3Q

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Patty Aguilar | 09 October, 2019, 11:12

Staff from U.S. giant Southwest Airlines claim they have been left more than $100m (£82m) out of pocket from the grounding of the scandal-hit 737 Max earlier this year.

Boeing deliveries fell 47 percent to 302 aircraft in the first nine months of 2019.

The complaint alleges Boeing chose to "rush" the 737 MAX to market for the sake of profits and in doing so, "abandoned sound design and engineering practices, withheld safety information from regulators and deliberately misled its customers, pilots and the public" about design changes from previous versions of the 737 aircraft.

Almost 350 people died in crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 and in Ethiopia in March this year. Last month, the Chicago-based company delivered just two 737s - previous versions of the plane, not the Max - compared with 61 a year earlier, when it was ramping up Max production.

The benchmark is closely monitored by Wall Street as a sign of profitability because plane deliveries are closely tied to revenues.

The statement on deliveries came as Boeing faced fresh questions on its chances for winning regulatory approval in 2019 to resume flights on the MAX.

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.

Among its changes, Being is addressing a flaw discovered in the software architecture of the 737 MAX flight-control system that involves using and receiving input from both flight control computers rather than one.

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Southwest pilots sue Boeing for misleading them on 737 MAX
The planemaker has invited pilots from Max operators to fly the updated software as part of outreach to flight crews. Spokesman Peter Pedraza said Boeing believes "this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it".

"We do not at this stage have any specific concerns resulting from that assessment that would mean that we could not agree to a coordinated return to service".

Boeing said it continues to work with EASA and that its timeframe has not changed. Boeing is fighting to get the jet back in service this year.

Southwest Airlines' pilots union is suing Boeing for damages caused by the prolonged grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, saying a steep reduction in flights has cost pilots an estimated $115 million in compensation.

The president of the pilots' union said in an interview that the lawsuit followed failed negotiations with Boeing over compensation for more than $100 million in income that pilots have lost due to canceled flights.

Boeing "has the greatest respect for the men and women who fly for Southwest Airlines", a company spokesman said. While we value our long relationship with SWAPA, we believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it.

Southwest is the largest operator of the 737 MAX, and the aircraft may not return to passenger service until 2020.

The lawsuit, filed in the District Court of Dallas County, Texas, alleges that Boeing "abandoned sound design and engineering practices, withheld safety critical information from regulators and deliberately misled its customers, pilots and the public about the true scope of design changes to the 737 MAX".

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