Southwest reaches partial compensation agreement with Boeing for MAX damages

FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) said on Thursday it had reached a confidential compensation agreement with Boeing Co (BA.N) for a portion of the projected financial damages related to its 737 MAX aircraft grounding.

The U.S. airline also said it would share the proceeds from Boeing with its employees. The world’s largest 737 MAX operator expects the profit sharing accrual to be about $125 million.

Southwest said it continues to engage in talks with Boeing for further compensation related to the MAX grounding, adding that the details of the talks and the settlement were confidential.

With the MAX parked since mid-March following crashes on Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines that together killed 346 people, Southwest has had to scale back its growth plans and cancel north of 100 daily flights, wiping $435 million from its earnings between January and September.

Southwest had 34 MAX jets in its fleet when global regulators grounded the aircraft in March. The airline was supposed to receive 41 more 737 MAX planes before the end of the year, but most of those deliveries are now scheduled for 2020.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru;Editing by Shinjini Ganguli


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