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Southwest Airlines Pilots Sue Boeing Over Grounded 737 Max

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said that it filed a lawsuit against the Boeing co. (BA) alleging that the plane maker deliberately misled the organization and its pilots about airworthiness of the 737 MAX aircraft. The Pilots Association said the grounding of Boeing's 737 Max jets has cost them more than $100 million in pay.

The lawsuit, filed in the District Court of Dallas County, Texas, alleged that the pilots agreed to fly the 737 MAX aircraft based on Boeing's representations that it was airworthy and essentially the same as the time tested 737 aircraft that its pilots have flown for years. These representations were false.

All Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration from March 13 following crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killing 346 people.

According to the Pilots Association, the grounding of the 737 MAX has caused the elimination of more than 30,000 scheduled Southwest flights. This is expected to reduce the airline's passenger service 8% by the end of 2019, resulting in compensation losses for pilots in excess of $100 million. Southwest is the largest operator of the 737 MAX, and the aircraft is not expected to return to passenger service until the first quarter of 2020.

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