The First Client Lawsuit Against Boeing Over Its 737 Max Planes Is A Russian Firm

The first customer of Boeing to file a case over the global grounding of its 737 Max planes is a Russian company Avia that leases aircraft.

In the lawsuit, Avia alleged that Boeing had misrepresented how safe the plane was to fly and thereby had breached the contract. The company, which had got into a contract with Boeing a number of years ago to purchase 35 of the planes, has also alleged that the plane making company gave more importance to profits than safety of passengers in its competition with Airbus to gain market share.

Avia said in its lawsuit that was filed in an Illinois court that Boeing “represented that the 737 Max 8 was an airworthy and safe aircraft, and that it had been designed in compliance with aviation regulations.” The headquarters of Boeing is in the US state.  The law suit further said that “despite its representations and due to its negligent conduct, Boeing manufactured and designed an aircraft that was not safe for flight.”

There was no comment on the lawsuit available from Boeing.

Both the companies had rescheduled the delivery of the planes last year, the reason for which is not very clear from the lawsuit. According to court documents, the planes were scheduled to be delivered by Boeing sometime during 2022 and 2024 rather than between 2019 and 2022 as had been agreed originally.

The order is now sought to be cancelled by Avia. The Russian company is demanding that the court order Boeing to pay more than $115 million to it against the losses and damages which it claims resulted because of, as it put it, Boeing’s “wrongful acts and omissions.” Punitive damages are also being sought by Avia.

Following two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max planes in Ethiopia and Indonesia resulted in the global grounding of the planes in mid-March this year. In May, Boeing announced that it had developed a software patch to address the issue which had already been tested by it. However, the United States FAA and other airline regulators worldwide will have to be review the software that is known as MCAS and give a clearance for the planes to fly again.

While the time frame of the 737 Max planes returning back into the skies is not yet clear, Boeing CEO had said in June that it was likely that the planes could be cleared to fly before the end of the current year.

“We’re committed to providing the FAA and global regulators all the information they need, and to getting it right. We’re making clear and steady progress and are confident that the 737 Max with updated MCAS software will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg had said in a statement earlier this year.

While delivery of all ordered 737 Max has been halted by Boeing, all of the almost 400 planes that were already in airline fleets have also been grounded.

(Adapted from CNN.com)

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