Southwest Pilots’ Union To Ask Boeing for Compensation for 737 MAX Groundings, Report Says

Jun 19, 2019

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The Southwest Airlines pilots’ union plans to request compensation from Boeing for lost wages and legal fees caused by the Boeing 737 MAX groundings that began in March, reported CNBC.

An unidentified person who CNBC said was familiar with the matter said that Southwest MAX pilots lose $8.5 million per month while the planes sit unused.

The Southwest Allied Pilots Association (SWAPA) has issued statements on the MAX groundings in the past, but has mostly focused on passenger and crew safety surrounding the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to let the planes fly again. The union’s concerns have surrounded the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) — which has been implicated in the deaths of 346 passengers in two fatal 737 MAX crashes — as well as pilot training.

SWAPA reportedly will ask Boeing to cover legal fees for the union, which has had to comply with the Department of Justice’s investigation of the manufacturer’s new planes. It is additionally plans to ask Boeing to compensate pilots for lost wages since the planes left service. With 34 MAXes,  Southwest operates the largest 737 MAX fleet in the world, making the airline particularly vulnerable to the impact of the aircraft groundings.

The union did not cite a specific amount in the report, instead saying it is “seeking compensation and reimbursement from Boeing for every dollar legally available to be challenged, when the MAX issues are resolved.”

Photo credit MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images.

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